Commissioner’s concerns about police file on Roma in Sweden

Strasbourg, 23/09/2013 - In an interview with Dagen Nyhether about the police file on Roma in Sweden the Commissioner stressed that "it is very disturbing that in XXI-century Europe, the police of a democratic country may still be resorting to ethnic profiling, a method of controlling people on the basis of their ethnic origin, which is both unlawful and ineffective. It runs counter to human rights standards, including the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights case-law, the recommendations of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance and the decisions of the United Nations Human Rights Committee."

"With this file on Roma people, the Swedish State contributes to alienating from society both its Romani communities and other minority groups. The past has taught us that this is a very dangerous path which risks fuelling racist movements. The police should preserve a democratic State, not endanger it."

The Commissioner urged the Swedish government to shed light on what happened, immediately delete the file and provide people concerned with adequate redress, including compensations if the use of the file has caused them damages. "Accountability should also be established and measures must be taken to avoid the reoccurrence of such an ill-advised decision. I will closely follow the developments and am ready to further discuss this issue with the Swedish authorities."