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European Court Condemns Bosnia Over Jews, Roma

STRASBOURG -- The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Bosnia discriminated against a Jew and an ethnic Roma by forbidding them from running for elected office.

In a judgment issued today, the court in Strasbourg said the prohibition -- included in the Bosnian Constitution -- amounted to discrimination and breached the electoral rights of the two applicants, Dervo Sejdic and Jakob Finci.

Sejdic, of Romany background, and Finci, a Jew, are both prominent public figures in Bosnia.

The country's constitution allows only "constituent people" -- Muslim Bosniaks, Christian Orthodox Serbs, and Roman Catholic Croats -- to run for president or as lawmakers.

The court did acknowledge that the constitution was put into place directly following the 1992-95 war and was aiming to keep the peace.

compiled from agency reports