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

Does bias (not) count!?

The police failed to consider that the assault on the chairmen of the Raoul Wallenberg Association bears an anti-semitic bias and failed to investigate the incident as hate crime despite the fact that the law provides greater protection for the victims of hate crime. Apparently, the judicial practice presents deficiencies in this area.

He might still be alive today

István Cári senior became sick during the preparations for a pig slaughter early in the morning on February 25, 2011. His son and acquaintances who were there called the nearby doctor. They went to her house and also called the ambulance to no avail, as the doctor didn’t help, and the ambulance arrived late.

Gypsies did not have access to the donations collected to benefit flood victims

The local branch of the ’Jobbik’ party in Monor (a town in Hungary), has an ongoing collection for the benefit of flood victims. The flood has damaged 17 houses in the township, of which 5 are inhabited by Gypsies.

A ’Jobbik’ party activist, in charge of distributing donations, has not given any aid to the Gypsy victims- clearly stating it was due to their lineage. She had apportioned parts of the donations for non-Gypsy born people who were not affected by the flood, but were considered ’Jobbik’ voters. Online descriptions of the donations emphasize that the contents will only benefit ’Hungarians.’