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Sweden to pay damages over Roma register: appeals court

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Sweden to pay damages over Roma register: appeals court
Fred Taikon, one of the claimants who will receive 30,000 kronor in damages. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT
12:15 CEST+02:00
Eleven people will receive 30,000 kronor ($3390) each in damages after an appeals court found they were unlawfully included in the so-called Roma register.
The Svea Court of Appeal (Svea hovrätt) established on Friday that the eleven people who had sued for damages had been entered into the Skåne police's register only based on their ethnicity.
 
Their inclusion in the register was deemed a serious infringement, and as such the Swedish state shall pay each of the claimants 30,000 kronor, the appeals court ruled.
 
"It's a major victory for all Roma in Sweden that the legal system has worked," said Fred Taikon, one of the victims involved in the case.
 
In the autumn of 2013, Dagens Nyheter revealed that the police in Skåne was keeping a database over thousands of people with Roma heritage. In 2016, the Stockholm district court concluded that the eight adults and three children, who had sued the Swedish state over their inclusion in the register, should each be awarded 30,000 kronor in damages
 
The state appealed that ruling, refusing to pay damages, and maintained in the appeals court that the people in the database were not in it due to their ethnicity. 
 
The Svea Appeals Court wrote on Friday, however, that the state had failed to provide an explanation as to why the people had been registered. None of the eleven claimants, who are all Stockholm residents, were suspected of any crimes, nor had they any links to the Roma families first mapped out by the police in Skåne.
 
The state also admitted in court to breaching the European Convention on Human Rights.
 
Fred Taikon told news agency TT he hoped the state would not appeal to the Supreme Court.
 
"I'm thinking this case must set a legal precedent. Everyone who was in the register now has to possibility to sue for damages and get compensation for their suffering, because this has been immense suffering," he said.
 
The appeals court ruling becomes legally binding on May 26th, unless the state appeals to the Supreme Court. 
 
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