Via Iuris: Roma Tenants Discriminated Against by Sabinov

(stock photo by TASR)

Presov, July 12 (TASR) – The Presov Regional Court definitively decided that the town of Sabinov and the Ministry of Construction and Regional Development applied discriminatory practices when they treated Roma and non-Roma inhabitants differently during the eviction of tenants from apartments in the town centre, by moving Roma inhabitants to flats with lower standards situated outside of urban areas, TASR learnt from NGO Via Iuris on Thursday.

According to the verdict, the municipality violated the principle of equal treatment in two ways: by the inappropriate choice of location where the Roma were moved, seeing as the new locale only works to reinforce their segregation, and by moving exclusively Roma tenants there. Furthermore, the court awarded each of the eight plaintiffs compensation of €1,000 in the lawsuit that has stretched out over a decade.

Via Iuris stated that according to official documents, the flats at Telek were built for “socially unadaptable individuals and payment dodgers”, although it clearly follows from other documents that the flats were denoted as “Roma apartments”. However, all Roma, regardless of their payment history or social-adjustment status were moved to Telek. The double-standard approach employed by the town is also evidenced by the fact that a group of Roma who were set to be relocated to Telek, but who managed to acquire legal counsel and representation from the Government Proxy for Roma Communities, were finally offered flats at a place other than Telek, maintains Via Iuris.