Bittersweet victory for Roma in Strasbourg court

It comes as no little irony that the ECHR judgment was delivered yesterday, when Slovakia celebrated Constitution Day, writes Marek Balaz of the European Roma Rights Centre.

Town of Moldava nad BodvouTown of Moldava nad Bodvou (Source: Sme)

A full seven years after Slovak police violently stormed a Roma settlement in Moldava nad Bodvou, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) delivered a ruling that marks an important legal victory for Roma rights and against racist policing; some kind of justice for the individual claimants; and a triumph for the Centre for Civil and Human Rights, which deserves our congratulations.

Yesterday (September 1, 2020), the Strasbourg court ruled in the case of R.R. v. Slovakia that there has been substantive and procedural violations of Article 3, and a violation of Article 14; and awarded each of the applicants €20,000 in damages and €6,500 in costs.

It comes as no little irony that the judgement was delivered yesterday, when Slovakia celebrated Constitution Day (Deň Ústavy Slovenskej republiky), for there was little way of constitutional rights accorded to the Romani victims of this notorious police raid. Reading through this judgment left me with a bitter taste.

The rest of this article is premium content at
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on and

Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

Top stories

News digest: Slovakia opens more testing sites

Slovaks smoke less than 10 years ago. Former tennis player who skipped the vaccination line helped at a hospital.

Journalists' dilemma over the case of the charged Jaroslav Haščák

Investigative reporter Adam Valček writes about what he learned during the Kuciak murder trial and how it applies in the case of the charged co-founder of Penta.

Jaroslav Haščák

Drop in car production lower than expected

Carmakers manufactured 11 percent less cars than in 2019.

Carmakers in Slovakia also produce electric battery and hybrid car models.