B.C. prof granted bail, but remains behind bars in Slovakia

Kamloops resident David Scheffel will remain behind bars for up to three more weeks

  • Sep. 4, 2018 9:21 a.m.

—Kamloops this Week

A court in Slovakia has agreed to release a jailed Kamloops professor on bail, but David Scheffel will remain behind bars for up to three more weeks while the court considers an appeal from the prosecutor.

Scheffel, a Thompson Rivers University anthropology professor, has been in a cell in Slovakia since last November, facing charges of arms trafficking, sexual violence and child pornography.

Since his arrest, many academics and non-government organizations have spoken out in support of Scheffel, who has spent 16 years researching social issues within the Roma population of Slovakia.

At a hearing on July 22, Scheffel spent three hours explaining the history and goals of anthropology and how his work with the Roma fit with it. In particular, he had been researching social challenges the Roma experience that lead to juvenile prostitution.

RELATED: B.C. professor jailed in Slovakia

During a court hearing on Monday in Presov, in eastern Slovakia, a court agreed to release Scheffel on conditions including he remain in the country and report to authorities every two weeks. But his release remains in limbo pending a decision on the prosecutor’s appeal.

In an emailed update, Scheffel said he argued that dismissing juvenile prostitution is wrong and continues to stigmatize the Roma people as “unadaptables,” which he said is the attitude of many Slovaks toward them. Ignoring it also fails to deal with the issues of racism, oppression and poverty within the Roma community, he said.

Scheffel said photographs from his laptop that were being viewed as child pornography were of nude and semi-nude Roma children, what he called “a standard scene captured by many visitors to these impoverished and chaotic communities.”

He said other pictures the prosecution referenced included one of his youngest daughter after her delivery at Royal Inland Hospital.

Scheffel’s research data, including his laptop, have not been returned to him or his new lawyer to assist with his defence. He is now being represented by a former Slovak deputy prime minister and minister of justice.

In his emailed update, Scheffel said he had been visited by two representatives of the Slovak government’s human-rights office, a response to his complaint to the Council of Europe about his incarceration. He said it was his first positive experience with Slovak officials, who spent several hours discussing his grievances and later met with prison managers and the warden.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Student artwork on display in ‘Well Lit’ installation

Thoughtful Place Design, 49th Parallel, and Festival of Lights came together to showcase student art

Ladysmith set to star in new Syfy series: Resident Alien

Ladysmith will play the role of Patience, Colorado in the series

Ladysmith wins ‘Brownie’ Reach Out award for communication of Waterfront Plan

The Town of Ladysmith has received national recognition for the successful public… Continue reading

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital raising funds for new surgical suite

The new suite will reduce endoscopy wait times for residents from Ladysmith to Bowser

Belair Street development ready for next steps following public hearing

Fred Green’s Belair Street development cleared another hurdle at a Town of Ladysmith public hearing

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

B.C. pharmaceutical company’s stocks double in value after successful lupus drug trial

More than 40 per cent of patients using voclosporin saw improvements in kidney function

Second warning on romaine lettuce from California region as another E. coli case reported

Two cases of E. coli have been reported in relation to the illness in the U.S.

Residents in B.C. city could face 133% tax hike in ‘worst case’ lawsuit outcome: report

An average home could see a tax increase of $2,164 in one year

B.C. Transit finds 28 used fareboxes online, saves $300,000

‘Someone joked maybe we can buy used fareboxes on eBay,’ CEO says

Many of Canada’s working poor can’t afford lawyers, don’t qualify for legal aid

One lawyer says many people earn too much to qualify for legal aid, but not enough to really live on

Economy lost 71,200 jobs in November, unemployment rate climbs to 5.9%

Jobless rate is at its highest since August 2018, when it hit 6%

Most Read