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Sme: Report on Budulovská Roma settlement raid inadequate

The report of the police action in Moldava nad Bodvou, Košice Region, does not contain the names of witnesses and police officers, and lacks evidence and the methods employed in the investigation, the Sme daily, which acquired the document, wrote in its August 7 issue. Sme added that the Interior Ministry inspection did not even explain how it found out that the police officers did not use physical force when dealing with Roma during the raid.

The report of the police action in Moldava nad Bodvou, Košice Region, does not contain the names of witnesses and police officers, and lacks evidence and the methods employed in the investigation, the Sme daily, which acquired the document, wrote in its August 7 issue. Sme added that the Interior Ministry inspection did not even explain how it found out that the police officers did not use physical force when dealing with Roma during the raid.

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, a non-profit group that works with ethnic minorities. That conflict saw police detain two local Roma men. One was released four days later and the other remains in custody, according to Sme. 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 this was a standard operation and that the police did not violate any regulations when they went to the Roma settlement looking for wanted individuals and stolen goods.

The investigation results are, according to Sme, included in four short paragraphs of a two-page report.

“Most [of the] text explains the laws,” Martin Varinčík from ETP Slovensko told Sme.

Varinčík pointed to another report, like the one describing the death of Karol Sendrei in 2001, and the slapping of Roma boys by Košice police officers from 2010, which were more extensive and contained evidence.

The failure of the investigation might lead to legal steps taken against Slovakia before the international courts, he added, as reported by Sme.

ETP has been critical of the raid in Moldava nad Bodvou since it occurred. It has recently called the investigation insufficient.

In addition to the Interior Ministry, public defender of rights Jana Dubovcová also launched an investigation of the incident. She plans to present the results in few weeks, Sme wrote, adding that she has had some problems with receiving the documents related to the case.

Source: Sme

For more information 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.

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