ROMA organisations in Slovakia – three NGOs and one non-parliamentary political party, the Roma Initiative of Slovakia (RIS) – wrote an appeal to the Hungarian government and parliament to adopt resolute measures to prevent murders of members of the Roma minority in the country.
The letter they delivered to the Hungarian Embassy in Bratislava on August 10 says that members of the Roma community in Hungary are living in permanent fear for their lives following a series of attacks on Roma citizens over the past six months. Roma organizations are worried this violence may spread into Slovakia. The letter asks the Hungarian parliament to stop hiding behind ‘misplaced freedom of speech’ and to adopt changes in its legislation that would prevent extremist attacks against the Roma, the SITA newswire reported.
Representatives of the Roma European Parliament as well a sub grouping of Roma called ‘Olas’ and the Council of the Roma Communities’ NGOs also supported the appeal.
Representatives of Roma lit eight candles in front of the Hungarian Embassy in Bratislava to commemorate the eight Roma murdered in the past 12 months.
According to the European Center for Roma Rights, Hungary reported 39 attacks on Roma and their property batween January and June this year. The most recent racially motivated incident happened on August 3 in the eastern Hungarian town of Kisléta. Unknown offenders shot dead a 45-year-old Roma woman and severely injured her 13-year-old daughter.