The outcome of an official investigation of the legitimacy of the police action at the Roma settlement in Moldava nad Bodvou, Košice Region, cannot be considered sufficient, the civic association ETP Slovensko, a non-profit group that works with ethnic minorities, wrote in a statement which came as a response to the recently published results of an investigation carried out by the Interior Ministry, the TASR newswire reported on August 2.
The incident took place on June 19. Eyewitnesses claim that members of SWAT units in approximately 20 cars rode into Moldava nad Bodvou’s Budulovská Roma settlement late in the afternoon and raided homes of the Roma, according to a statement issued by ETP Slovensko. Police detained 15 people. Some 30 people were reportedly injured during the raid, according to the group.
The raid was preceded by a conflict involving some settlement residents with a police patrol after a party on the night of June 16, according to ETP Slovensko. That conflict saw police detain two local Roma men. One was released four days later and the other remains in custody, according to the Sme daily. Both are being prosecuted in connection with the clash, during which a police patrol car was damaged. Locals contend that the June 19 raid came as revenge for the earlier incident, according to the testimonies recorded by the Roma Media Centre (MECEM).
The results of the investigation, presented by Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák on July 30, state that the operation was a standard one and the police did not violate any regulations when they went looking for wanted individuals and stolen goods at the Roma settlement.
Yet, ETP, which has been engaged in providing social services to the inhabitants of the settlement, maintains that the police did not even bother to hear out any of the affected inhabitants, whose testimonies point to inappropriate use of coercive means, as reported by TASR.
“ETP Slovakia and several witnesses ... have at their disposal evidence and they are ready to provide this to police investigators for the sake of a due and objective investigation into the case,” the NGO stated, as quoted by TASR. “This includes witness testimonies, audiovisual material recording the consequences of the operation and the medical reports of people that had to seek medical treatment in Moldava nad Bodvou and in Košice after the action.”
ETP added that people living in the settlement claim that apart from adults, a six-week-old infant was injured in the raid.
The association has asked the relevant bodies to investigate the case properly and to publish the results of the already-conducted probe.
The ETP’s statement has been backed by Amnesty International, the Budapest-based European Centre for the Roma Rights and by the Equity Civil Association, TASR reported.
Source: TASR, Sme
To read more about this story please see: Ministry: Raid in Roma village was appropriate
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
5. Aug 2013 at 14:00