Court Punishes Disco for Denying Entrance to Roma on Racist Grounds

On June 13, 2005, the Szabolcs- Szatmar-Bereg County Court held that the Julia Central Ltd., operating the Julia Central Discobar in Nagyhalasz, violated the right to dignity and infringed the requirements of equal treatment with respect to three Romani individuals and one non- Romani individual. The court awarded 150,000 Hungarian forints each (approximately 600 EUR) in non-pecuniary damages to Ms Agnes Rado and three other young people after guards at the Julia Central Discobar turned them away for the stated reason that they were not "regular guests" on April 10, 2004. Non-Roma arriving after them managed to enter without any identification or questioning.

In the framework of a joint litigation project with the ERRC, the Budapest-based NGO Legal Defence Bureau for National and Ethnic Minorities (NEKI) conducted a test of the disco on June 12, 2004, to determine whether or not the establishment practiced racial discrimination. The tests ascertained that Roma were banned from entering the bar, while non- Roma were allowed entrance. Julia Central Ltd. was ordered to refrain from further violations and to post the court's decision at the discotheque for two months.

(ERRC)

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