A week of awards

HCLU received a special prize from Erste Foundation the same week at the end of June when it won awards from Kreatív Magazin Webvideó.

Our Roma program was recognized for its work with the Roma of Gyöngyöspata. HCLU provided crucial assistance to the Roma when the police failed to intervene for two months to stop the far-right, paramilitary groups, who were patrolling the town of Gyöngyöspata, from intimidating the Roma in what could be best described as a near civil-war situation. HCLU filed an actio popularis case against the police for violating the law on equal treatment by neglecting to intervene and discriminating in issuing fines for misdemeanors. The trial is still in process.

The foundation of Erste Bank, established in 1819 as the first savings bank of Austria, awarded for the fourth time civil society organizations working towards strengthening social integration. 1998 organizations applied from 13 countries. The jury recognized 35 of them and awarded them 180 million HUF in total. Most applications came from Hungary while eight of the 35 recognized were Hungarian, making Hungary the best performing nation in this regard. (This raises a question, however: is this a story of great need for integration or are Hungarian civic groups this talented?) Along with prizes for the top three in the various categories (the Hungarian Káva Theatre won a third place prize), four organizations, including HCLU, received special awards as HCLU was given 16,000 EUR.
Erste Foundation hosted more than a hundred civil society organizations in Vienna with two days of events that included a gala where the awards were announced. Eszter Jovánovics,

HCLU’s head of the Roma Program, accepted the award.
Our team continues to battle. (Indeed, this government is still ruling.) Violations of the law, limiting individual rights and a bleeding rule of law mean constant challenges for the staff and lawyers at HCLU. But it is nice to see others appreciate this work.

Megosztás

Kapcsolódó hírek

Report on Gyöngyöspata Marks the Final Goodbye of the Minority Ombudsman

“Gyöngyöspata is a frightening example of „law and order”. Do we really want to set this as an example?” – the first sentence of the report already suggests the essence of Ernő Kállai’s observations. In December, the minority ombudsman published his report on public employment, the procedural practice of minor offense authorities, and the state of education in Gyöngyöspata. In his report, Ernő Kállai demonstrates the effects of measures taken on the public morale and the cohabitation of Roma and non-Roma since his investigation in the spring.

To serve and beat: Tomi the policeman (part 1.)

We have started a series, titled ‘To serve and beat’ on the topic of police aggression. TASZ (Hungarian Civil Liberties Union) has been running its Roma Programme centred on the issue of police brutality for seven months in the counties of Borsod and Heves in Hungary. We have received numerous complaints of police maltreatment during this period. In some towns, local policemen abuse their power daily; they I.D. and penalize people based on their Roma origin. Their behavior often ends in violence. People living in abject poverty have no options: even if they are aware of their rights, they cannot, or fear to exercise them. They are afraid to file formal complaints. And even when they do, the counsel generally refuses to investigate.

„Let’s be honest: you just wanted to fine us.”

It seems that it isn’t just in Borsod County that it is typical for the police to disproportionately and selectively fine the Roma people. Our colleagues went to Eger, where the inhabitants of the Gypsy settlement (Verőszala street) told them that the police patrol around their residences daily, asking for identification and fining them for different made-up violations of rules of the road.