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Sweden faces bumper pay out for Roma register

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Sweden faces bumper pay out for Roma register
Photo: TT
11:13 CET+01:00
The Swedish state's bill for damages could be substantial following a ruling by the Commission on Security and Integrity Protection on Friday that the Skåne police Roma register was illegal, according to a media report.
"They can also turn to us ... and request that we do a check if we believe the registration has been okay. And if we come to the conclusion that there have been irregularities and that there could be a case for damages, then we hand the matter over the Justice Chancellor (Justitiekanslern - JK)," said Sigurd Heuman, the chairman of Swedish Commission on Security and Integrity Protection (Säkerhets- och integritetsskyddsnämnden - SIN">SIN), to Sveriges Radio.
 
Of the 4,700 people listed in the register, some 4,500 people, and thus potential claimants for damages, remain alive today.
 
"This could of course be complicated administratively, but it is important. We have this responsibility from the legislators, we shall be there and check when people need help, and then we have to offer it," Heuman said.
 
The list, which was dubbed ”kringresande” after the old-fashioned Swedish term for travelling communities, was established for no clear reason, SIN noted in its ruling on Friday.  

"An undefined purpose gives no framework to the personal data, which in practice undermines the protection of individuals' integrity," the ruling read.

The SIN report also concluded that there had been no need to add all the names in the database, which Skåne County police said was originally put together to keep tabs on Roma in the south suspected of crime. The list ballooned, however, including children, reporters at public service radio's Romani Chib broadcast, and even in-laws of Roma Swedes, and people who had passed away. 

The official SIN review looked into a random selection of 1,235 on the list who were not children. The list also included deceased persons that were not included in the review.

Skåne County police has claimed the list was assembled to "fight a criminal network" rather than to keep tabs on people of a specific ethnicity.

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