Archiv der Kategorie 'Slowakei'

Polizei attackiert Roma-Community in der Slowakei: Kinder und ältere Leute verletzt

Das European Roma Rights Center (ERRC) hat ein Video erhalten, das zeigt, wie Polizisten wahllos Roma auf der Straße in Zborov (Slowakei) angreifen. Die Polizei drang am 16. April in das Roma-Viertel ein und begann willkürlich Roma zu schlagen – einschließlich Kinder und ältere Leute.

Drei Menschen benötigten medizinische Hilfe: ein fünfjähriger Junge, ein Mann in den 40ern mit einem Herzleiden und eine ältere Frau mit Behinderungen. Das ERRC hat erfahren, dass der Krankenwagen, der gerufen wurde, um die verletzten Mitglieder der Community zu behandeln, zeitweise von der Polizei behindert wurde. Zeug_innen, die die Gewalt gefilmt hatten, bekamen später Besuch von der Polizei und wurden aufgefordert das Filmmaterial zu löschen. Unser Informant weigerte sich.

Die Polizei war gerufen worden, nachdem ein Streit in der Nachbarschaft ausgebrochen war. Sie reagierte mit gezogenen Schlagstöcken, verursachte Terror unter den Bewohner_innen und schlug Männer, Frauen und Kinder, die ihr in den Weg kamen. Ein Bewohner sagte: „Wenn jemand versuchte, vernünftig mit ihnen zu reden und an sie appellierte, aufzuhören, wurde er geschlagen.“

Innenminister Robert Kalinak hat Pläne angekündigt, mehr Polizeikräfte in Gemeinden mit hoher Roma-Bevölkerung einzusetzen.

Das ERRC hat Kriminalitätsstatistiken untersucht und herausgefunden, dass es sich bei den vorgeschlagenen Gemeinden nicht um diejenigen mit den höchsten Kriminalitätsraten handelt, sondern um diejenigen mit relativ hoher Roma-Bevölkerung. Aus den Daten der Regierung ergibt sich kein starker Zusammenhang zwischen hoher Roma-Bevölkerung in einer Gemeinde und erhöhter Kriminalitätsrate.

Die aktuelle Regierung benutzt Roma einmal mehr als Sündenbock für billige politische Ziele. Der Kampf gegen so genannte „Zigeunerkriminalität“ ist ein beliebtes Mittel slowakischer Politiker_innen, um an den unter Wähler_innen verbreiteten Antiromaismus zu appellieren. Es gibt wenig Beweise, dass es die Kriminalitätsrate in den Gebieten senken würde, wenn die Polizeikräfte in den Roma-Vierteln erhöht würde.

Quelle und Video: RAN
Stand: 29.05.2017

Roma face uncertain future amid Slovakia’s nationalist surge

Kosice (Slovakia) – His mouth open wide, four-year-old Milos is intent on managing a plate of fish and potatoes using adult-sized cutlery — a meal all too rare for the many Roma children living in squalor in Slovakia.

„Childhood obesity isn‘t a problem here,“ kindergarten director Anna Klepacova told AFP, as she watched her pupils eat what is often their only meal of the day. Little Milos is one of over a hundred Roma children attending a pre-school at the impoverished Lunik IX housing estate, an urban wasteland in Slovakia’s second city of Kosice that looks more like a slum in the developing world than a neighbourhood in the eurozone. And there appears little hope for change following the general election in March. Surrounded by heaps of trash, Lunik’s massive, grim communist-era high-rise concrete apartment blocks have had no electricity, heat, gas or running water since utilities were cut more than a decade ago due to unpaid bills. Over-crowding is chronic, with 6,000 residents squeezed into quarters meant to accommodate half that number. Chimneys puffing thick, grey smoke, stick out some of windows; stoves installed in many of the flats are loaded with wood harvested from a nearby forest. Water is gathered in jerry cans from a ground floor outdoor faucet that only runs in the morning. Nearly 20 percent of Slovakia’s estimated 400,000 Roma live in abject poverty, in more than 600 shanty towns and slums mostly in the south and east of this economically successful eurozone country of 5.4 million people. A 2012 UN Development Programme report found that around 75 percent of the country’s Roma are unemployed, a rate seven-times higher than among non-Roma. Slovakia vowed in 2012 to eliminate discrimination in education and housing, but the results of last month’s general election suggest that life for Roma people is unlikely to improve anytime soon. The community lost Peter Pollak, its first and only member of parliament, after he failed to hold on to his seat in the March 5 ballot. Dominated by the racially charged anti-Muslim and anti-refugee policies of leading left and right-wing parties amid Europe’s migrant crisis, the election also ushered a stridently anti-Roma ultra-nationalist party into parliament for the first time. (mehr…)

Compensation for victims of forced sterilization raised at OSCE event on Roma

Speaking at the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw on 1 October, two Romani civil society members raised the urgent issue of the Czech Government’s decision not to compensate the victims of forced sterilizations, human rights abuses that have taken place over the course of decades in the former Czechoslovakia and its successor states, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, including into the 21st century. Karolina Mirga of the Ternype network raised the issue as well as the continued presence of an industrial pig farm on the site of a former concentration camp for Roma at Lety in the Czech Republic.

Marek Szilvasi of ERRC dedicated his entire remarks to the issue of compensating the victims of forced sterilization, noting that the Czech Government’s rejection of the bill means that „hundreds of Romani women are going to remain without compensation for this human rights violation.“ Szilvasi urged both the Czech and Slovak Governments to immediately begin developing proper compensation schemes and the Czech Government especially to reconsider its decision.

Archived video of the session on 1 October 2016 is available here (remarks at 2:30). Today’s closing session is being broadcast live here.

On 30 September participants raised the issue of police brutality toward Roma and Sinti communities throughout the 57-state OSCE region. Speakers emphasized that negative stereotypes about Roma are widespread among law enforcement and lead to discrimination in policing.

„The police play an important role in ensuring the protection and promotion of human rights,“ said Mirjam Karoly, ODIHR Senior Advisor on Roma and Sinti Issues. „Therefore, investment in improving trust and confidence among the police and Roma and Sinti communities is crucial to combating racism and discrimination.“

Repressive police practices and a lack of effective investigation and prosecution of crimes against Roma create deep distrust among Roma and Sinti towards the criminal justice system in general. „Criminal cases against police representatives suspected of violence against Roma remain under investigation for very long periods of time, which blatantly violates the standards set by the European Court of Human Rights, related to the duty of the state authorities to conduct thorough and effective investigation within a reasonable time,“ said Oana Taba of the Romanian NGO Romani Criss.

„Investigations in such cases can be flawed, very often lacking the racial motivation of the perpetrator,“ Taba noted. Participants also discussed recent police operations targeting Roma and Sinti and their communities.

„The inhabitants of the concerned areas, mostly Roma, were intimidated and harassed by the practice of raid-like joint control activities in segregated Roma settlements by local government authorities in co-ordination with local police,“ said Szalayné Sándor, Deputy Commissioner for Fundamental Rights of Hungary. „These practices are incompatible with the principle of the rule of law and the requirement of legal certainty.“

Date: 02.10.2015

One Year on From Roma Deaths, ERRC Highlights Low Sentence for Mass Murderer in Slovakia

One year ago yesterday, an off-duty municipal police officer shot three Romani individuals dead, and seriously injured two others in a killing spree in the town of Hurbanovo, Slovakia. He was sentenced to just nine years in prison, an exceptionally low sentence. The minimal penalty under the Slovak Penal Code for this crime is 25 years. During his examination for the purpose of expert opinion, he frequently stated his calling to ‘solve the Roma problem’ and to ‘finally deal with the Roma in Hurbanovo’. Despite this, no racial motivation was considered during the case.

The European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) and the lawyers representing the victims believe that this judgment does not establish justice. The law firm of Dr Stanislav Jakubčík, together with the ERRC, submitted a Constitutional complaint on 24 May 2013 to the Slovak Constitutional Court, challenging the judgment and claiming that proceedings before the Special Criminal Court and its ruling were not in line with the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Slovak Constitution and the European Convention of Human Rights.

To mark the first anniversary of the massacre, the ERRC, lawyers of the victims and the Roma Parliament in Slovakia held an event at the site of the town of Hurbanovo yesterday, paying respect to the victims of the massacre and holding a media briefing on the constitutional complaint. The ERRC and the Roma Parliament in Slovakia also sent open letters (English and Slovak) to Slovak and international authorities, pointing out the shortcomings of the Special Court’s proceedings and judgment, and asking for their advocacy to establish justice for the victims.

The Roma Parliament in Slovakia have launched a petition calling on the Ministry of Justice to re-open the case. The surviving family members have limited standing at the penal court proceedings and their perspective and interests were not adequately considered by the court during the Juhasz case.

“State authorities have a duty to investigate racial motivation in any crime, and to sentence appropriately,“ said Dezideriu Gergely, Executive Director of the ERRC. “This sentence undermines the confidence of minorities, in particular that of Roma, in the ability of state authorities to protect them from the threat of racist violence.

For further information:

Marianne Powell
Communications Officer

Source: ERRC
Date: 17.06.2015

Shocking video shows Slovakian police officers forcing Romani children to strip naked and fight each other after they were arrest for robbing an elderly woman

Video shows the children being forced to fight and then strip by officers
Came after the six boys were arrested for robbing an elderly woman
But as court won‘t accept footage as evidence, police have been cleared
Judge ruled it was not admissible as video had been ‚illegally obtained‘
Prosecutor is seeking to appeal the verdict against the 10 officers

A shocking new video has emerged showing police in Slovakia forcing Romani children to fight each other and strip naked after they were arrested on suspicion of robbing an elderly woman. The footage has appalled the country after it was also revealed that the officers involved will not face any punishment after a local court refused to accept the video as evidence. The images, that spread quickly online, show how 10 police officers had forced the young children to beat each other, strip and even lick a shoe, causing widespread public outrage. They video was shot in 2009 by the officers themselves at a police station in the city of Kosice and had been shared among the police before it leaked on to the internet.

The case was eventually brought to court this week for a verdict after numerous delays. But all 10 officers were acquitted because the judge said the video had been ‚illegally obtained‘ and was therefore not admissible in court. The prosecutor, for whom the video evidence was the strongest asset, will appeal the verdict as without it there was little other evidence. However, the judge defended the decision, pointing to contradictory statements in the evidence given by the children. After the incident nine police officers lost their jobs and criminal proceedings were announced, but after throwing out the charges of assault, blackmail and trying to cover it up, the judge ordered a not guilty verdict because ‚there was no relevant evidence‘.

Attorney for the victims Vanda Durbakova, from the Slovak Centre for Civil and Human Rights, said: ‚The decision of the court is a genuine disappointment to me. ‚It seems that Slovak justice is unable to guarantee an effective access to justice even in the most prominent, unambiguous cases of cruel and inhuman treatment in our society. ‚The courts have been unable to effectively protect citizens from serious misconduct by units of state repression such as the police, which I consider alarming. ‚I believe the appeals court will overturn this decision on the basis of the prosecutor’s appeal and that the victims will not ultimately have to go all the way to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg to get justice.‘

The Slovak Government Plenipotentiary for Romani Community Affairs, Peter Pollak, added: ‚I have personally seen the video footage from this case. ‚The police bullied those boys, which is why I appreciate the fact that the prosecutor will appeal this verdict. I condemn such practices. We must judge everyone by the same standards, and I condemn all criminal activity, whether it is committed by a police officer or a Romani person.‘

Source: Daily Mail
Date: 06.03.2015

Slovakia: Riot unit attack on Romani settlement remains unsolved

One year on from initiating a criminal prosecution in the case of an attack on the Budulovská Romani settlement in the town of Moldava nad Bodvou by police riot units, Slovak justice authorities have not managed to complete their investigation.The European Roma Rights Centre and the Equity civic association have issued a press release on Facebook to that effect.

The press release recalls that criminal reports filed against the officers have since been mysteriously lost by the Prosecutor-General. Detectives are now said to be arranging for psychological examinations of those who witnessed the attack, which seems more like an effort to call their testimonies into question than an effort to discover and punish the perpetrators of the incident.

Slovak ombud Jana Dubovcová said previously that she considers the investigation to be a kind of „camouflage“. She has now announced that she will be reviewing whether the delays in the case are unnecessary.

The police intervention in the Budulovská settlement happened in June 2013. Local residents say the settlement was occupied by 20 police vehicles and that approximately 60 officers in balaclavas broke into their homes, demolished their fixtures and assaulted them. (mehr…)

Slovak Plan To Give Gypsies Free Flights To UK

A group of local Slovak politicians who wear cowboy hats and call themselves the magnificent seven are campaigning on a promise to solve crime and clean up the area by putting gypsies on flights to the rest of Europe, and sterilising those that remain.

Vladimir Guertler, 41, who is head of the Magnificent Seven Party that promises to restore law and order by getting rid of the gypsies with one-way tickets abroad, has backed up his plan with TV spots interviewing gypsies admitting they would welcome the chance of a free ticket out of the country.
Those that remain, he said, would be eligible for free sterilisation operations for which they would get incentives, including the advantage that with fewer children they would have more money for other things.

Before the region split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993, Czechoslovakia routinely sterilised Roma women to curb the birthrate of people regarded as „undesirables“ but it was thought to have ceased after the 1989 Velvet Revolution. It was later found out however that doctors had continued the practice not just for months but for years.And now the subject has been raised again in Slovakia together with the idea of encouraging Roma to go to other places in Europe with free one-way tickets. The „7 statocnych“ party, which means the magnificent seven, is campaigning in the city of Kosice in the impoverished east of Slovakia, a region split by ethnic tension. (mehr…)

Slovakia: Three suspects in beheading case of Romani man now on trial

Daniel Horváth was 37 years old and the father of a five-year-old girl when his murderers first beat him up and then chopped off his head while he was still alive. The case of his brutal murder is now before a court in Slovakia. The tragedy occurred two days before Christmas in 2012. The murder was committed in the village of Žihárec, not far from the town of Šala. News server reports that two youths and the father of one of them are behind the shocking crime. Mr Horváth’s girlfriend had her first opportunity to come face-to-face with his brutal murderers during the trial. According to the indictment, the perpetrators beheaded her boyfriend while he was still alive. The Romani man was first brutally beaten up by them in a pub in Žihárec. The 40-year-old owner of a local bar, who is also a butcher by trade, his 18-year-old son, and his son’s 19-year-old friend transported Mr Horváth by wheelbarrow into the garden, where they used a meat cleaver to separate his head from his body while he was still alive. They then threw the body parts into a cesspool. Two days later, when they knew police were looking for Mr Horváth, they removed his corpse and his head from the cesspool, put them in a barrel, and drove them by car 25 km away to the town of Šoporňa. They hid the body and head in a shaft in an abandoned slaughterhouse. The butcher’s son, Atila, initially testified that his father had cut off Mr Horváth’s head. In court, however, he took all the blame, claiming to have committed the murder.

Now the father, who was suspect number one at the start of the trial, has surprisingly been released from custody. He reportedly left the country and is in the Netherlands. The next hearing in the trial will be on 15 May. Should the men be found guilty, they could serve 25 to life. No one knows why the trio slaughtered their victim in such a brutal way. One year ago, the father of the 19-year-old involved in the murder said he had behaved as if nothing had happened all during Christmas: „Neither I nor my wife noticed anything unusual about him,“ the father admitted.

Date: 01.04.2014

Anti-Roma bias, job fears aid far-right in central Europe

The people of this peaceful village at the foot of the Slovak mountains vented their anger by electing as their regional governor a man who calls his Roma compatriots „parasites“ and admires a wartime figure who collaborated with the Nazis. Marian Kotleba’s landslide victory in November exposed pent-up frustration over unemployment and neglect by mainstream parties, together with a deep-seated animosity towards the Roma, factors that have built support for extremist politicians in Slovakia and elsewhere in central Europe. Still, many were shocked when Kotleba – a former high school teacher who looks back fondly on the Slovak state that was allied with the Nazis during World War Two – came from nowhere to win 77 percent of the vote in Balog, 260 km (160 miles) northeast of Bratislava, the capital. Overall, in the central Slovak region of Banska Bystrica, he won 55 percent, enough to become regional governor and a further sign that some European voters frustrated with the economic crisis were willing to take chances with extremists. Nationalist sentiment is increasingly directed against Slovakia’s Roma, a minority of 400,000 in the country of 5.4 million who live on the fringes of society, suffering from poverty, poor education and limited job prospects. In some settlements they have no access to running water. With European Union expansion opening borders, deprived regions have seen waves of departures, including some of Europe’s 10 million Roma, to countries such as Canada and Britain, where immigration has again become a hot issue. British Prime Minister David Cameron has imposed new regulations on migrants amid fears of an influx of poor people from Romania and Bulgaria, for whom restrictions on free movement within the EU expired at the end of December. Kotleba, who did not respond to requests to be interviewed for this article, ran on a platform that derided „Gypsy parasites“. Some Roma, whose forebears arrived in central Europe from India in the Middle Ages, see Gypsy as a derogatory term. Kotleba once ran a party that was disbanded for racial hatred. The 36-year-old has organized marches in military-style uniforms and praised Jozef Tiso, the wartime leader of Nazi-allied Slovakia. His party’s newsletters talk about „desperate villages and towns suffering from crime and terror from Gypsy extremists“. „We voted for him out of desperation,“ said Martina Strorcova, a pub owner in Cierny Balog. She says local people on low incomes often accuse Roma of drawing welfare benefits while not being willing to work. „It is bad to see how some of us toil and others take social support,“ Strorcova said. The pub in the village centre only has two customers at lunchtime, and Strorcova says business is tough. People who work at the local iron works bring home just 430 euros ($590) a month. The Slovak minimum wage is 337 euros a month, less than 2 euros an hour, against the equivalent of 7.50 euros in Britain. Cierny Balog’s 5,000 inhabitants include about 700 out of work during the winter, said social worker Lubomira Pancikova. „The problem is unemployment, not only among the Roma but overall. Young people run away, men and women in their most productive years,“ Pancikova said. The official jobless rate in the region is 18.1 percent, although in some areas it tops 30 percent. It is the second worst in the country and far above the national average of 13.7 percent. Kotleba promises to create jobs through public works schemes, setting up public companies and farms. „He wants to give normal people, and the Roma, a pick-axe in their hands and make them work,“ said Ivana Galusova, who voted for Kotleba. In fact, Kotleba may not be able to do much. He will be isolated in a regional assembly dominated by Smer, the leftist party of Prime Minister Robert Fico. (mehr…)

Slovak prosecutor investigates police for brutality in raid on Romani settlement

The Slovak Prosecutor-General has ordered an investigation into a June raid by police officers on a Romani settlement in eastern Slovakia that has been criticized by NGOs and Romani residents for its use of force. The prosecutor’s statement implies that local police who participated in the intervention could face criminal prosecution. Police have defended their actions and previously found that no errors had been committed during the maneuver. Activists say the police raid on a settlement in Moldava nad Bodvou involved several dozen members of a special police unit who undertook house searches there. Many eyewitness testimonies say the police behaved aggressively and assaulted several local residents who had to seek medical treatment as a result. International human rights organizations Amnesty International and the European Roma Rights Centre have called for an investigation of the intervention. The Slovak Interior Ministry’s Inspectorate reviewed the case in the summer and found no wrongdoing on the part of the police officers. The public prosecutor has now taken a diametrically opposed position on what happened during the raid. (mehr…)