European Roma Rights Centre slams Slovak government for settlement raid

THE SLOVAK government does not pay enough attention to the investigation of the police action in Moldava nad Bodvou; instead of pressing on investigators to seek answers, it comments on the events on its own without closing the case, according to the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC).

R-L András Ujlaky, Paul d´Auchamp, Government Proxy for Roma Communities Peter Pollák and Jana Dubovcová. R-L András Ujlaky, Paul d´Auchamp, Government Proxy for Roma Communities Peter Pollák and Jana Dubovcová. (Source: TASR )

The ERRC organised a discussion on police violence against Roma on the occasion of the second anniversary of the police raid in Moldava nad Bodvou settlement – on June 19, 2013.

“We protest against the raid not being properly investigated,” András Ujlaky, executive manager of ERRC said, as quoted by the Sme daily,

Read also:Prosecutor to target Moldava police raid Read more 

Currently, the Interior Ministry is investigating the police raid and whether police abused their powers. The fundamental question is whether the police operation was unavoidable – which has not been answered yet, according to Ombudswoman Jana Dubovcová.

However, the Moldava case is only the tip on an iceberg, according to Sme. Beginning April, during a police search operation, several inhabitants of the village of Vrbnica were injured. Moreover, 46 more cases of police violence during the operation in Vrbnica have not been appropriately investigated. All positive changes in investigating such cases including the order to use cameras are rather the result of the public pressure, and not of the government’s willingness, says Dubovcová.

The Deputy Regional Representative from the Regional Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Brussels, Paul D’Auchamp, says that governments should listen to their ombudsmen. He praised Dubovcová’s proposal to create an independent body for investigating  police methods. After the raid in Moldava, Dubovcová was invited to the cabinet session in January 2014, but she was not allowed to speak. After protests, mostly from the opposition, the parliament later voted that the cabinet was correct in blocking her from speaking. 

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