THE CABINET is sticking to its position that its refusal to allow Ombudswoman Jana Dubovcová to speak at its January 8 session was justified.

At that same session Dubovcová was also unable to get parliament to discuss her report on the potential violation of human rights and freedoms of a Roma community during a June 2013 police raid. A group of opposition MPs subsequently initiated a special parliamentary session to discuss the issue, which started on January 29 afternoon.

The special session was heated, with Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák insisting that the police acted correctly and with good reason, while opposition MPs criticised the government for “disrespect” demonstrated towards Dubovcová when not allowing her to address the government.

Smer MP Ľuboš Blaha criticised the opposition for “using the issue of Neo-Nacism for political marketing”, according to the SITA newswire

The session continues January 30 at 9:00 and the last MP to officially participate in the debate is Ivan Štefanec (Slovak Democratic and Christian Union-SDKÚ). Then, the MP previously not registered for debate can comment, before the session comes to a conclusion.

Ahead of the parliamentary session, the cabinet issued its official stance, insisting that its conduct was appropriate. The cabinet argues that the ombudswoman violated the legal process when she turned to the Police Presidium and the Interior Ministry simultaneously with her complaints about the police raid, the SITA newswire reported.

The government maintains that Dubovcová should have gone to the Police Presidium first, which in turn would have decided on a motion and announced whatever steps it would take within 20 days. Only if Dubovcová disagreed with the police’s stance could she have then turned to the Interior Ministry.

In this case, there was no legal reason for the ombudswoman to turn to the cabinet, they said. The cabinet expressed concerns about what it perceived as an attempt by the opposition and the media to abuse the issues surrounding the police raid.

The government also stated that the case is marked by two conflicting interests: the protection of the human rights of the inhabitants of Moldava nad Bodvou and its surroundings, and the protection of human rights of the inhabitants of the Roma settlement of Budulovská in Moldava nad Bodvou.

(Source: SITA)
Compiled by Michaela Terenzani and Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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