MORE than seven months after the police raided the Roma settlement in Moldava nad Bodvou, which has kept politicians, the ombudswoman, human rights advocates and the media busy ever since, Prime Minister Robert Fico and Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák paid a visit to the town in eastern Slovakia on February 1 to support the police, who have been heavily criticised for the raid.
“It was my task, and I did it gladly, to cheer for the police officers,” Fico said, as quoted by the Sme daily. “I refuse to allow an atmosphere to be built in Slovakia where if a police officer uses tools that the law allows him to use, it contradicts human rights. In that case the police are useless.”
Fico assured the police in Moldava that they have the full support of the government.
“The police are here to help and protect, but when necessary, also to use force within the rules that the law stipulates,” Fico said, as quoted by Sme.
The raid in Moldava nad Bodvou, which has been widely discussed since it occurred in June 2013, involved 63 SWAT police entering the settlement to detain several men, for whom they had arrest warrants. None of those men were found, but violence ensued and dozens of others were injured, none of whom were charged with a crime. The inhabitants of the settlement, as well as NGOs and the ombudswoman, have insisted that the raid was a violation of human rights. A special police investigation into the raid concluded that it was carried out in line with the law.
Meanwhile, the prosecutor concluded that there are grounds to start a criminal prosecution in the case.
Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information
presented in its Flash News postings.