The Government Council for Human Rights, Ethnic Minorities and Gender Equality has weighed in on the police crackdown at a Roma settlement in Moldava na Bodvou in June, unanimously adopting a resolution expressing support for Ombudswoman Jana Dubovcová.
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. Prosecutors have ordered another investigation.
On February 5 the council didn’t take a position on the police intervention. The council will debate the incident only after the investigation of the Interior Ministry (which oversees the police) has been completed.
“I certainly don’t want to make judgements about it, because I’m not competent to do so,” said Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák who is also the president of this council. The adopted resolution acknowledges the ongoing investigation, he said, adding that the council doesn’t want to get a step ahead of the investigation. “That’s why we agreed that we will return to this topic when a decision of the competent institutions and bodies has been made,” Lajčák said, according to the TASR newswire.
Dubovcová acknowledged that “this was the first time there was a substantive discussion about her findings”.
“In contrast to the outcome of the council’s discussions, however, I don’t think that it’s necessary to wait for the end of investigation for the adoption of measures that I have proposed,” she responded.
In the document submitted last month to government, Dubovcová proposed for police to record such future raids on video. She also wanted all areas used by the police for holding and questioning apprehended individuals to be CCTV monitored.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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6. Feb 2014 at 10:00