MINELRES: Slovakia: New decision on discrimination

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Fri Feb 15 17:25:34 2008

Original sender: Barbora Bukovska <bmq1@hotmail.com>

Slovak Court decided again on the racial discrimination   

12 February 2008, Kosice and Michalovce, Slovakia  

On 29 January 2008, the District Court in Michalovce again reviewed a
case of racial discrimination of Roma in access to public accommodation
in Eastern Slovakia that was initiated in 2005 by two Slovak
non-governmental organizations – Poradna and Nova cesta, on behalf of
three Romani activists.   

The incident happened in April 2005 when three Roma activists were
denied an access to a local cafe,  called IDEA, in Michalovce, Eastern
Slovakia. The cafe personnel claimed that the cafe was a private club
and thus, in order to enter it, patrons had to purchase “club
membership”. However, white patrons were served without such membership
cards and the alleged club membership served only as a disguise to
prevent Roma from entering the cafe. The case was brought to the
District Court in Michalovce that decided it for the first time on 31
August 2006. Originally, the District Court partially ruled in favour of
discriminated Roma but its judgment was quite confusing. For example,
the District Court said that although the Roma were victims of
discrimination, it was not based on their ethnic origin. However, the
District Court failed to clarify the discrimination ground. The Roma
appealed this controversial decision to the Regional Court in Kosice.
The Regional Court then cancelled the first instance decision and
returned the case to the District Court for a re-trial.       

The District Court repeatedly heard the case and this time, declared
racial discrimination of three Romani activists.  It also order the cafe
owner to send a written apology to the plaintiffs. However, the District
Court again rejected a claim for damages and did not order any financial

The court decision is not effective yet and can be appealed.  

For more information about the case, contact Poradna or Nova cesta.

Stefan Ivanco 
Center for Civil and Human Rights - Poradna
Kriva 23, 040 01 Kosice, Slovakia 
tel: + 421 55 68 06 181
e-mail:  antidiskriminacia@poradna-prava.sk
Oz Nova Cesta
Nam. Slobody 1, 071 01 Michalovce, Slovakia
tel: + 421 56 64 26 938
e mail:

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