HUMAN rights watchdog Amnesty International (AI) has called on the Slovak government to immediately inquire into cases of mishandling during the recent unrest in eastern Slovakia, the news wire SITA wrote.
AI suspects the police of violating human rights in the course of detaining members of the Roma community.
"We have warned several times that police officers who abuse their powers during police action in Roma settlements remain unpunished. The government has not condemned the behaviour of police officers, which has contributed to the toleration of racist violence," wrote AI general secretary Irene Khan in a letter to the Slovak government.
AI also demands that the investigation results be published and those responsible for potential human rights violations be sent to court.
According to AI, too few cases of racially motivated attacks have been investigated, giving many Roma the impression that the law does not protect them. AI did not condone looting, but warned that no one had the right to use excessive power, abuse the Roma, or make verbal racist attacks.
AI received information from the European Roma Rights Centre in Budapest and the Slovak Roma Rights Centre according to which police officers violated the human rights of several people on February 24 in their search of the Roma settlement in the Trebišov district.
Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
9. Mar 2004 at 10:08