Sátoraljaújhely, Hungary; on May 18, 2010. We visited the temporary quarters of those who had been evacuated due to the flood. Many of them have complained that the ’Hungarians’ did not help the Gypsies during the defense against the flood.
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Most people hardly hear or know anything about the living conditions and everyday
concerns of the Roma population living in extreme poverty, often in segregated
During their visits in North-Eastern Hungary, our colleagues interview locals
about the issues they are currently most concerned with. The aim of our new series
entitled “Make Your Voice Seen” is to deliver the messages of these people to a
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.
A Roma family in Putnok lives in fear since they informed the police that they heard noises similar to gunshots, and then found two holes on the gate of their home. Investigators only arrived after public pressure. The mayor says it is all a rumor.
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.