Roma Discriminated Against By Hungarian Police

A Hungarian court acknowledges discrimination by the police against Roma citizens in the town of Gyöngyöspata.

Police in the Hungarian town of Gyöngyöspata violated the right to equal treatment of Roma citizens by not protecting them from extremists, a court of first instance ruled on September 17. The judgment also found discrimination against Roma in police fining practices.

Extremists

The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, acting independently, initiated the lawsuit against the Heves County Police Department in order to protect the rights of Roma in Gyöngyöspata.

The lawsuit alleged a violation of the country’s equal treatment act when police failed to protect Roma citizens from, among other things, patrols by the Civil Guard Association for a Better Future, an extremist group that organized illegal patrols of the town. In 2014, the association was disbanded in the same manner as the Hungarian Guard, a far-right group dissolved by court order in 2009.

In its judgment, the court determined that the inaction of the police was a form of discrimination and they had failed in their duty to defend and enforce the rights of Roma citizens.

A better future?

At HCLU’s request, the court ordered the Heves police to feature the judgment on its website and inform the Hungarian Bureau of Communication about the judgment’s availability. The court dismissed the other claims of the applicant.

It is HCLU’s hope that the judgment will force police to better respect the fundamental rights of Hungary’s largest ethnic minority group, although the judgment is not final. Still, coming four years after the events in question, the decision may bring some satisfaction to the Roma of Gyöngyöspata.

Read a detailed report on the lawsuit here.

Watch our video about the trial.

Megosztás

Kapcsolódó hírek

Handcuffs, body search, service dog

It is not nice to pick endangered flowers, to litter in public spaces, to park in tow-away-zones, to fish without a license or to collect firewood from the forest. The introduction of handcuffs, body search and service dogs is nonetheless an overreaction on behalf of the government. The number of abuses of power may increase due to the recent changes initiated by government and accepted by the Parliament.

Without Rights

A new documentary film by HCLU on the situation of Romani people in Hungary. Why would a local government pass a law that forces clubs to close at 10 pm, in an area where the only place open at that time happenes to be Romani? How can someone be accused of carrying 700 kg of wood on a bicycle? How can a case be labelled as a false alarm when the whole street witnessed a gun being pointed at a pregnant woman? How can the parents of six children be put in prison for two of their children skipping school? The film deals with such issues.