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May 24, 2022

 

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Sweden: Scandal over police compiling Romani family trees

Stockholm, Sweden, 24.9.2013 17:22, (ROMEA)

News server Novinky.cz reports the Swedish police have been illegally compiling information about thousands of Romani people, many of whom have never committed any crimes. Yesterday the Aftonbladet newspaper reported that thousands of children's names are among them.  

The police have also been compiling Romani family trees. The report was confirmed yesterday morning to the Dagens Nyheter daily by police spokesperson Lars Forstell, who said the original aim of the data gathering had been crime prevention.

The genealogical trees include the names of 4 029 Romani people, and certain people on the list have also been labeled as Travellers. Approximately 50 000 Romani people live in Sweden.

The men were marked in blue, the women in red, and their relations to one another were described. Printouts of a screen shot of the list were taken on 29 May 2012 from a police computer in the town of Skane in southern Sweden.

The list was first created in Lund and was then used both by police in Skane and by the National Authority for Investigations. Gathering information on the basis of ethnic affiliation is illegal in Sweden.

Swedish Minister for EU Affairs Birgitta Ohlsson called the lists "appalling, illegal, unacceptable and unethical". "If we are to be capable of standing up for human rights in Europe, we must put our own house in order. The information about the lists of Romani people is outrageous," she said.

Forstell first denied the existence of the lists but later said they were just temporary. He admitted that the names of people who have never committed any wrongdoing could end up on them.

The police spokesperson did not confirm the number of records reported by the Dagens Nyheter daily. He said police are now addressing the handover of the lists to the public prosecutor, who will evaluate whether they have been correctly handled.

Novinky.cz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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EU, news, Racism, Roma, Sweden, travellers, Travellers



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