UK Court Rejects Claim of Czech Roma and ERRC
In a decision dated October 8, 2002, the Administrative Court of the High Court of Justice in London rejected a claim filed by six Czech Roma and the ERRC against the British government because of a policy of discriminatory checks at the Prague airport aimed at preventing Roma - who may be refugees - from reaching the United Kingdom. The ERRC first received word that U.K. officials had been stationed at the airport in Prague through reports in the media: On July 19, 2001, the electronic e-mail bulletin Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported that on July 18, 2001, British immigration officials had begun subjecting passengers bound for London from Prague's Ruzyne Airport to additional checks. Since that time, the British government has implemented an on-again, off-again system of checks by British immigration officials at the airport in Prague. Most reports have concurred that the persons being refused were overwhelmingly Romani (for additional information on the case, please see: British officials continue policy of stopping Roma at Czech airport; Czech Roma and ERRC sue U.K. government). On October 23, 2002, Liberty, a UK organisation, filed a notice of appeal against the decision on behalf of the six Czech Roma and the ERRC. Liberty has appealed the October 8 decision. Information on the erosion asylum rights in Western European countries is available at: http://www.errc.org.