Romany family condemned to homelessness by court

KARVINA, North Moravia (PDM staff with CTK) 16 September - The district court in Karvina yesterday ordered a six-member Romany family to leave a city-owned apartment hotel in Bohumin, North Moravia.

The town hall had bought the apartment from the local firm Zelezarny a dratovny Bohumin and it wants to build flats there. Some Romany families living in the apartment building have refused to leave, including the family of Renata Scukova, whose case the court ruled on.

Scukova, has four children, some of whom are ill, and her husband is hearing impaired. She has been unable to pay her rent.

Scukova's lawyer tried to convince the court that the family was unable to find a new home and that it does not want to join an asylum center as it could be split up there.

"I will appeal the verdict, I am at a loss. I have come here chiefly for my children's sake and expected to receive a replacement home. This is discrimination," Scukova told journalists.

Her lawyer told the court that the town hall preferred some new tenants at the expense of the socially disadvantaged whom it wants to move into a ghetto or out of the town. The state attorney rejected this accusation. She said that if the court had decided to the benefit of Scukova, it would set a precedent and any city hotel guest could ask for a new home.

In all, the Karvina district court is to deal with four lawsuits from Romanies threatened with eviction.

The court ruled today that Scukova had to move out within 15 days after the verdict takes effect.

Romany families had to move out of city dwellings in other towns, too, in north Bohemia in particular, on the basis of a court order.

The court in Most, North Bohemia, for instance, has approved the evictions of tens of tenants and people who had no right to use the flats.

In the Chanov neighbourhood in Most, which is chiefly inhabited by Romany families, rent defaulters owe tens of million crowns. Some of them have been relocated to a town hall center for rent defaulters.