Swedish state appeals against Roma register ruling

The Swedish state has launched an appeal against a court ruling that compensation should be paid to eleven people present on a police register of Roma, who were judged to be victims of ethnic discrimination.

Swedish state appeals against Roma register ruling
Fred Taikon was one of the eleven victims. Photo: Maja Suslin

On June 10th, Stockholm District Court concluded that eight adults and three children should each be awarded 30,000 kronor ($3654) in damages from the state, due to the presence of their details on a much-criticized database built by police in Skåne, southern Sweden.

But on Thursday, Anna Skarhed, the attorney representing the Swedish state in the case, launched an appeal against the ruling.

A statement from the Chancellor of Justice – the Swedish agency charged with representing the Swedish government in legal matters – said that while the state recognized an error was committed, the compensation amount should either be reduced or removed entirely.

The case against the Swedish state was launched on behalf of the victims by human rights group Civil Rights Defenders. The group said the appeal was not a surprise.

“It wasn’t entirely unexpected, and I understand that one wants to try this because more could come forward and launch cases against the state, and that may be very expensive,” Civil Rights Defenders lawyer John Stauffer told newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

At the time of the original ethnic discrimination ruling in June it was thought that more lawsuits could follow.