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Hotel head sends open apology to Roma guest

Published: 28 Mar 2014 09:00 GMT+01:00

Diana Nyman, the chairman of the Roma Council in Gothenburg, was forced to drink her coffee in the lobby of Stockholm's Sheraton hotel after staff stopped her from entering the breakfast lobby. 
 
Nyman was on hand on Tuesday at the expense of the government to speak at the release of the white paper on discrimination of Roma and travellers in Sweden.
 
She was staying at the four-star Sheraton Hotel, a stone's throw away from parliament and the government quarter, but when the 45-year-old went down for breakfast she was offered a modern-day example of the discrimination that the white-paper on Tuesday admitted had been endemic in Sweden.
 
Nyman, who wears a traditional wide black skirt and frilly blouse and who recently fielded questions about beggars in an online chat, said she was almost knocked over by a staff member who rushed to bar the Roma expert and speaker from entering the breakfast room. 
 
On Thursday night, Sheraton manager Jan Nielsen sent a letter offering his "sincerest apologies". He wrote that the staff would be retrained and that an internal investigation was underway.

When reached by the TT news agency, Nielsen admitted that he was still unsure of how the incident transpired.

"For the moment, I still do not have a definitive understanding. But we do understand how Diana Nyman is feeling and we want to apologize for that feeling," he said.

Nyman, in response, said the apology was "a good start" and that she was looking forward to seeing results from the investigation.

She added that she had also reported the matter to the Equality Ombudsman (Diskrimineringsombudsmannen - DO), the state's equality watchdog.

TT/The Local/og (news@thelocal.se)

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