Saturday, December 12, 2009
MARIA LUISA MUNOZ DIAZ
FROM THE LEADER
GYPSY WOMAN WINS CASE AGAINST SPANISH AUTHORITIES
Last Tuesday the European Court of Human Rights at Strasbourg ruled that Spain had discriminated against a Gypsy woman, by denying her a widow’s pension because she was married in a Gypsy ritual, and the fact that her union was not inscribed in the Civil Registry.
The court voted six to one in favour of María Luisa Muñoz Díaz, 52, ruling that Spanish authorities had infringed her rights under articles 14 and one of the European Convention on Human Rights. Article 14 prohibits discrimination on grounds of ethnicity, and the European Convention deals with protection of property. The court awarded Muñoz Díaz, alias La Nena, between 70,000 and 50,000 euros, corresponding to back payments and 20,000euros for moral damages. Muñoz Díaz’s husband, a construction worker, died in 2000 having paid into the social security system for 19 years. The couple was married in 1971 and had six children.
“I am very happy because the court have acknowledged that we are normal people,” said Muñoz Díaz, whose declarations in court regarding the Gypsy wedding ritual and her marriage convinced the judges, according to one of her lawyers, Sebastián Sánchez. The court said that to demand Muñoz Díaz marry under Canon Law was a “deterioration of her religious liberty.”
Posted by Morgan at 11:03 AM