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30 people injured in police raid

A POLICE raid in a Roma community in the eastern-Slovak town of Moldava nad Bodvou on June 19, which left dozens of people injured, has raised questions about whether or not the police acted appropriately. The Interior Ministry will reportedly look into the allegations.

A POLICE raid in a Roma community in the eastern-Slovak town of Moldava nad Bodvou on June 19, which left dozens of people injured, has raised questions about whether or not the police acted appropriately. The Interior Ministry will reportedly look into the allegations.

About 50 SWAT unit police officers in approximately 20 cars rode into the Budulovská Roma settlement, part of Moldava nad Bodvou, late in the afternoon of June 19, and proceeded to raid the dwellings of the local residents, the ETP Slovensko civic association reported in its statement for the media. The police detained 15 people and about 30 others are reported to have been injured by the police during the raid.

Some of the injured people were treated at the emergency room of the Moldava hospital, and a 6-month-old child who fell unconscious during the raid was hospitalised in Košice. The child’s condition is not connected with the raid, the hospital doctors said, as reported by the Sme daily.
“Based on all available information and the inspection of the raid scene there is a strong suspicion that the police might have inappropriately used means of enforcement and violated the respective legal measures during the raid,” ETP Slovensko wrote.

The raid was preceded by a conflict involving some of the settlement’s inhabitants with a police patrol on the night of June 16, after a party which was organised by the locals, the ETP Slovensko and Equity civic associations. The conflict resulted in the police detaining two of the local Roma, with one being released four days later and the other remaining in custody, Sme reported. Both are being prosecuted in connection with the conflict during which a police patrol car was partially damaged.

Locals believe the raid was done in revenge for this conflict, according to the testimonies recorded on video by the Roma Media Centre MECEM.

ETP Slovensko has requested that the Interior Ministry investigate the raid.

“The section of control and inspection service of the Interior Ministry has received several motions in connection with the police intervention,” the ministry’s spokesperson Lucia Garajová told Sme. The ministry has established a group to investigate the matter.

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