We serve and beat: Christening with some tear gas

Around 9 p.m. on a Saturday night in the beginning of September 2010 a christening feast was dispersed in Tiszalúc (Hungary) by three cars of policemen using batons and tear gas, pleading the breach of the peace. The policemen had no mercy even on children. This case - presented within our series “We serve and beat” - is an outstanding example of police brutality and undue and unlawful police actions against the Roma.

The violation of law was committed not only by the policemen taking action: according to the statements of the concerned people, the physician in attendance did not attend them; in addition, the police station at Tatkaharkány (village in Hungary) “informed” them through the mayor about the denial of the possibility to denounce the policemen. The procedure came to pass according the accustomed script: following the police brutality, the maltreated people were taken to the police station but were not interrogated there and minutes were not taken, either; then, „naturally” proceedings were started against the aggrieved party charged of violence against officials. Hungarian Civil Liberties Union has latched on to the incident, besides providing legal defence, also representing the aggrieved party in proceedings against the police.

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Megosztás

Kapcsolódó hírek

To serve and beat: Tomi the policeman (part 2.)

"He punched me in the stomach five times. I was made to drink five glasses of water.” There was no interrogation, only beating.

 

To serve and beat: Tomi the policeman (part 1.)

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.

 

„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.