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 10:21 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

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Town endorses cannabis applications

Three applications for provincial non-medical cannabis retail store licences got Town Council… Continue reading

Mobile breast cancer screening coming to Creston

To book a screening mammogram call 1-800-663-9203. A doctor’s referral is not required.

Call a foul on cancer with the Pink Whistle Campaign

Local basketball referees are raising money for cancer research

Free farm succession planning workshop in Creston

The one-day workshop provides an overview of the succession planning process followed by detailed presentations by farm succession experts in accounting, law, insurance, and financing.

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

B.C. man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver aquarium

Park board’s appeal reverses previous decision that found it had no right to implement a ban

Most Read