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Amnesty International criticises racism in Slovakia

Slovakia’s Roma community continues to face serious discrimination in its access to housing, education, employment, health care and other services, as well as persistent prejudice and hostility, according to Amnesty International’s annual report on the state of the world’s human rights in 2007, published on May 28. The human rights' watchdog group also says that the Slovak authorities do not adequately react to attacks on foreigners and minority members. Police investigations sometimes appeared dilatory or failed to acknowledge the racial motivations of attackers.

Slovakia’s Roma community continues to face serious discrimination in its access to housing, education, employment, health care and other services, as well as persistent prejudice and hostility, according to Amnesty International’s annual report on the state of the world’s human rights in 2007, published on May 28. The human rights' watchdog group also says that the Slovak authorities do not adequately react to attacks on foreigners and minority members. Police investigations sometimes appeared dilatory or failed to acknowledge the racial motivations of attackers.

Though protection of rejected asylum-seekers from forced extradition improved, the fact that the Slovak authorities accept “diplomatic assurances” not to torture or execute people subject to extradition procedures in their homeland raises concerns, said Amnesty. In this connection, the case of Algerian Mustafa Labsi was cited. He filed a complaint with the Constitutional Court, in which he said that the Supreme Court’s decision from January 22, 2008, and the possible decision of the Slovak Justice Minister, to permit his extradition to Algeria could violate his basic right to be neither tortured nor exposed to cruel, inhumane or humiliating treatment. The prosecutor office does not rule out Labsi’s extradition, as it has received assurances from the Algerian authorities that Labsi would be neither tortured nor executed in his homeland. Amnesty International suggests in its report that from January to September of last year, Slovakia granted refugee status to only 8 out of 2,259 applicants. Amnesty International assessed the state of human rights in more than 150 countries all over the world. SITA, TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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