"Travellers." That is what the folder in the Skåne police departments computer system is called. The folder contains a large file called ”Total”. It's a family tree of sorts, containing 4.029 people from all over Sweden (although not everyone on the list is related to each other).
Men and boys are represented by a blue figure. Women and girls are red. Next to each figure is the individual's name, national identification number and address. Arrows crisscrossing the document show who is related to whom. Sources say that the police department's goal was to create a searchable catalog of Sweden's Romanis.
The oldest people in the catalog are now dead. They were born in the late 1800's and early 1900's. Among them are Josef Taikumer, born in 1894. Olga Demeter, born in 1901. Georg Taikon, born in 1909.
More than a quarter of the people in the database are minors. The youngest children on the list are two years old. They were added to the list in 2011 when they were a just few months old. 842 of the children in the catalog were born during the 21st century.
The fact that they have not reached an age of criminal responsibility doesn't matter. They are not on the list for criminal offences. Law enforcement has registered them because their parents are Romani, therefore the children are Romani. Police logic states this means that they will need to keep an eye on the Romani children in the future.
The registry was created by the police department in the city of Lund, and it is administrated by the police district of Skåne. They are not the only ones who have access to the catalog. The national criminal police, the regional criminal police in Skåne and detective departments in several other districts can also access the Romani catalog.
DN has confirmed that at least 70 police employees are authorized to search the ”Total”-document, but the number of people with access to the registry is probably much larger. The document has also been shared within the organisation and sent by email to employees who themselves are not authorized to access it.
It is a database containing many people who have never been convicted of any crimes. The list includes names such as Erland Kaldaras in Malmö, head of The Romani Youth Association. It lists the names and personal details of athletes, politicians and members of the culture scene.
It also contains a number of ordinary families who just happen to have Romani background, like the Håkansson family in Skarpnäck.
The one thing everyone in the registry has in common is that they themselves are Romani, or have a relationship with a Romani.
The people in the registry live in different areas of Sweden. It lists 528 people from Stockholm. 380 from Gothenburg. 733 from Malmö. 165 from Lund. 103 from Helsingborg.
The document registers children from cities all over the country. On the list: a two year old boy and his four year old sister in Linköping. Two three year old girls in Västerås. A nine year old girl in Växjö.
Four children from Jönköping are on the list: a two year old boy, two female eight year olds and a ten year old girl. A five year old girl from Borås is registered.
In Kristianstad a ten year old girl, a seven year old boy and a four year old girl can be found in the registry.
Two Romani three year olds, a seven year old child and a nine year old from Norrköping are all on the list. In Södertälje three two year old children, a three year old, a four year old, a five year old and a seven year old have all been added to the database.
The registry is not a relic from times past. It is a document that in use today. Police computer data indicates that the catalog was created in 2012, but the gathering and sorting of personal information has most likely been going on for years.
Police use the Romani registry as a kind of encyclopedia. If a criminal investigation turns up a Romani suspect the police might want to know who the suspect is related to. All they have to do is turn on their computer, click on the computer folder labeled ”Travellers” and search the ”Total”-catalog.
Ethnic registration is illegal in Sweden. DN has spoken to several lawyers, who say that the registry is in violation of several laws pertaining to Swedish law enforcement. The document, containing personal relationships, addresses and information, may also violate the European convention on Human rights, article 8, which provides the right to respect for ones private and family life.
DN has spoken to several people whose personal details are in the document. None of them had any idea that they or their children were registered. Most where shocked and angry – others were sad yet unsurprised. ”This is what Hitler did. First they register us. Then they get rid of us”, says 44 year old Marcello Demeter in Skarpnäck, southern Stockholm. He, his children and his grandchildren are all in the registry.
Translation: Amanda Johansson-Murie.