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Sterilisation of Romany women to be investigated by Slovak police

Kosice, East Slovakia, 14.2.2007 9:29, (CTK)

The Slovak police will investigate again the cases of alleged illegal sterilisation of Romany women, to which the Consultancy Centre for Civic and Human Rights pointed in 2003, spokesman for the Kosice regional prosecutor's office Milan Filicko told CTK today.

Following a December ruling by the Constitutional Court, the regional prosecutor's office cancelled its earlier decision to stop the criminal prosecution. The file was returned to the investigator from Zilina, North Slovakia, Filicko said.

"The prosecutor's office has returned the file to the prosecutor and assigned it to ascertain evidence according to the ruling by the Constitutional Court," Filicko said.

The investigator should question the witnesses and complainants, he added.

The Constitutional Court returned the case to the prosecutor's office following complaints by three Romany women. It ruled that investigators did not take all steps to find evidence.

The court also adjudged 50,000 crowns of compensation to them.

The alleged sterilisation was highlighted by the Consultancy Centre for Civic and Human Rights in its report Body and Soul in 2003.

Subsequent investigation did not confirm the results of the report and halted the prosecution. As a result, the three Romany women turned to the court that decided in their favour. However, the regional prosecutor's office rejected their complaint again. The decision was then taken to the Constitutional Court.

The Consultancy Centre for Civic and Human Rights pointed to 140 cases of alleged illegal sterilisation in the East Slovak hospitals in Presov, Gelnica and Krompachy.

The allegation was rejected by a report by former deputy prime minister for ethnic affairs Pal Csaky.

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