Ombudsman on enforced sterilization of Romany women

08-07-2005

The Ombudsman Otakar Motejl says that he does not have evidence to suggest that the former communist regime ordered enforced sterilization of Romany women. Close to eighty Romany women have written to the Ombudsman complaining that they were sterilized after giving birth without authorizing the procedure. The cases go back over a 30 year period and the Ombudsman told journalists that, serious as the matter was, closer investigation suggested that the cases were isolated incidents rather than an ordained practice. They allegedly happened in different hospitals and at different times and could not be linked to a given person or institution. The Human Rights League, which has also been monitoring the problem, does not agree, claiming that the former communist regime ordered the practice and that Romany women were bribed with money to agree to be sterilized.