Swedish transsexuals seek damages for forced sterilizations

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STOCKHOLM – A group of Swedish transsexuals who were sterilized to complete their sex changes said on Monday they were demanding 42.6 million kronor (4.8 million euros, $6.3 million) in compensation from the government.

The Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (RFSL) said 142 people were also asking for an official apology for the forced sterilisations that took place between 1972 and 2012.

“The claim for compensation was today submitted to the Chancellor of Justice”, the authority representing the state in legal disputes, RFSL president Ulrika Westerlund told AFP.

“Our starting point is to ask for 300,000 kronor per person. This amount is based on both the level of compensation for victims of forced sterilisation in Sweden and on the level determined by the European Court of Justice in similar cases,” she added.

The Stockholm administrative court of appeal ruled in December that the practice was unconstitutional and in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Some 800 people were affected by Sweden’s forced sterilizations of transsexuals, Westerlund said.

According to official data, 865 Swedes asked to legally change their gender from 1972 until 2011, and 500 people did so.

In 1999, the Swedish parliament adopted a law granting damages of 175,000 kronor to victims of forced sterilizations under a eugenics program that existed from 1935 until 1996.

Conservative Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt told tabloid Expressen on June 11 that the government wasn’t planning to issue an apology to the transsexuals.

AFP

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