„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.

For English subtitles: start the video and click on the "cc" button!

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

Authorities take steps against an anti-discriminatory disco

Around Ózd County, clubs usually don’t let any Roma in, which seriously violates equal treatment, and is thus illegal. In the summer of 2009, in Borsodnádas, a new club, which was supposed to be accessible to everyone, opened up.

'A poor man is pulled even by the branch of a tree'

I wonder how many cyclists are stopped in a wealthy neighborhood of a bigger city each year due to worn out tires, missing winter tires, missing reflector, or because of a disconnected brake cable? All of us who use such vehicles commit similar petty offenses. The lives of Borsod county’s (Hungary) Roma people – who live in poverty - are embittered by the police. They periodically give unnecessarily harsh fines of 10,20,30 thousand HUF (approximately 40,80,120 €).

The HCLU's movies shared a Special Award at the Hégető Honorka Prize ceremony

The aim of the Prize is to acknowledge television and online video works aimed at highlighting the problems of marginalised groups, and raising public and media awareness. It is a big honour for us to be awarded this prize in 2013.