„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.

Due to the location’s peculiarity, it can happen that a policeman asks someone for identification, examines their clothes, and fines them at the top of the road, and by the time he reaches at bottom of the road, a police car is already waiting for him and the whole process starts all over again. Lajos B. was fined by the police because he didn’t have a reflector on his handcart. Considering that the whole incident occurred during the daytime (a reflector is still mandatory during the day, but it is only really useful during poor weather conditions), we don’t consider a 3000 forint fine to be proportionate (according to the Law of Offences, a warning can be implemented if, considering the circumstances, the committed act is minor). This incident is complicated by the fact that the policeman wanted to sell the stove they were carrying on the handcart to a friend of his, so from the money, Lajos could pay the fine.

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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 settlements.

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 broader public.



Kapcsolódó hírek

'We don't want welfare, but jobs'

There is no bad work, the important thing is to have a job. This is what a young man from Hétes settlement talks about, in our video.

Now you can find out if your representative is on your side

The aim of the Make your voice heard! project of the HCLU is to facilitate advocacy skills of Roma communities. Therefore the HCLU trains Romani activists in freedom of information and in participatory rights. This obtained knowledge would help them gain insight into local decision-making processes. By having access to data of public interest and exercising participatory rights, their situation can be improved so they can reach the social level of the less underprivileged majority.

When there are kinks even in the cables

The man who spoke to the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU) representative had a bike with all the necessary accessories, yet the police still fined him. It seems that the general mandate of KRESZ (rules of the road) leaves room for policemen to, by all means, punish those who they choose to punish.