Higher court overturns previous ruling in Gypsy sterilization case

by Michael Smith

PRAGUE, Czech Republic, November 2008: A hospital does not have to compensate a young Gypsy woman it sterilized without her consent, an appeals court ruled recently.

In overturning the Czech Republic's first monetary award for forced sterilization, the court said the statute of limitations had expired.

This is not surprising seeing the people are concerned are people without a real voice. They are not Jews or Muslims but they are simply poor downtrodden Romani-Gypsy.

While Anti-Semitism is immediately jumped upon and nowadays also anything that is said against Muslims, so it would appear, Anti-Gypsy-ism is alive and well and no one cares, especially no one in the various bodies of the EU and the UN.

While there would be, I am sure, no one mentioning “statutes of limitation” had this heinous crime of forcible sterilization been committed against a Jewess or a member of any other ethnic group and the outcry would be great, as it is only Gypsies no one cares.

Human rights groups believe hundreds of women from the Czech Republic's Gypsy minority of about 250,000 people were sterilized against their will.

Under communism, which ended in the Czech Republic in 1989, sterilization was a semiofficial tool to limit the population of Gypsies, whose large families were seen as a burden on the state. The practice, however, ended only recently.

In other words, Gypsy women were still forced or or otherwise sterilized without their consent even into the time of EU membership of the Czech Republic. So, at least, it appears.

How, pray, was the Czech Republic, in the same way as other newer EU member states, ever allowed to join the EU with such appalling records on human rights, as far as one of the largest ethnic minorities on its territory?

Iveta Cervenakova, now 32, was illegally sterilized without her consent in 1997 after she gave birth to her second daughter by Caesarean section.

She filed a lawsuit in 2005. A lower court ruled two years later that the hospital in the northeastern city of Ostrava had to pay compensation and apologize for violating her rights.

Court spokesman Petr Angyalossy said the 500,000 Krona ($26,330) judgment was overturned because the award came after the 3-year statute of limitations in the case had expired. He said the hospital needs only apologize.

Neither an apology nor financial compensation, in all honesty, can compensate any Gypsy woman for the loss of being able to bear any (more) children. Nor can anyone ever compensate the woman nor the People as a whole for such crimes. Neither money nor apology will cut any ice. Not until such a time that the Romani People will be given the same respect and consideration as other minorities.

The Czech League for Human Rights sharply criticized the ruling and said it would appeal it to the Supreme Court. A lawyer of the League for Human Rights, who consulted with Cervenakova's attorney, said she will argue that there should be no statute of limitation applied in sterilization cases.

Several other Czech Gypsy women are also seeking damages from hospitals for illegal sterilizations. Not that they will get anywhere with this, I am sure, seeing the recent outcome. The European Union also is not in the least interested as to what happens to the Romani People, and this is blatantly obvious as to the happenings in Italy – that are all being but kept very quiet now.

Any Rom who still believes that the EU and/or the UN have the interests of the Romani People also at heart need to wake up, finally.

No one will every have our People's interests at heart if we, the Romani People, do not do it for ourselves. Ourselves Alone.

Ava Ame Shai! Yes, We Can!

© M Smith (Veshengro), November 2008