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Moldava nad Bodvou bans festival in Roma settlement

THE MUNICIPALITY of Moldava nad Bodvou banned the festival called Moldava Spolu – Moldava Together that was to take place in the Budulovská Roma settlement of the town at the end of August.

THE MUNICIPALITY of Moldava nad Bodvou banned the festival called Moldava Spolu – Moldava Together that was to take place in the Budulovská Roma settlement of the town at the end of August.

The festival was to unite the Roma minority and the majority population through music, theatre, photos and more, with both Roma and non-Roma performing. It is a response on the raid of 63 police officers on June 19, 2013. They were purportedly seeking seven men for which they had arrest warrants. They found none of those men, but violence ensued and 15 other Roma were taken to the police station.

“We wanted to show that tolerance can exist even at the place which became infamous because of the police raid,” said Michal Kaščák of Pohoda agency which co-organised festival, as quoted by the Sme daily.

The town mayor István Zachariaš said that he made decision in accordance with police recommendation which stated that Budulovská is not a safe place for the festival. In case of emergency ambulance or fire fighters vehicles would not be able to enter the area he told the daily Sme.

“I have never experienced that police, which supervises marches by neo-Nazis using our money bans culture events,” Matúš Vallo of Para pop-rock band said, as quoted by Sme.

This was already the second ban; earlier, Zachariaš said the festival cannot take place in June, on the anniversary of the police raid incident.

Organisers, including ETP civic association say they want to find an alternative solution for the event to take place anyway. The festival was supported by the US Embassy.

(Source:Sme)

Compiled by Roman Cuprik from press reports
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