She cannot read, she does not understand. Last victim of police raid still faces prosecution

Human rights organisations have been calling for the proper investigation of alleged police violence in the case of the 2013 Moldova raid.

Irena Matova Irena Matova (Source: TASR)

She cannot read or write. She does not understand Slovak at all and hardly Hungarian. When she was brought to one of the court hearings regarding the Moldava nad Bodvou raid, she was asked why she was in the room. "Because of the police," she answered.

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That hearing was not part of the investigation of the June 19, 2013 police raid, which saw dozens of SWAT unit members raid the Budulovská settlement in Moldava nad Bodvou. The police officers broke things and injured several people.

Irena Matová was one of the six beaten Roma victims whom the investigators turned into culprits and charged them with perjury against the raiding police officers.

It is questionable to what extent Matová even realises what happened to her during the investigation, said her attorney Roman Kvasnica.

Related article How beaten Roma became suspected criminals Read more 

She was investigated in another case in 2012, before the police raid. The minutes of her hearing contain the absurd claim that she has mastered spoken and written Slovak and that she can neither read nor write.

After the European Court for Human Rights ruled on the case in September 2020, the prosecutors withdrew the lawsuit against all the Roma involved, with the exception of Matová. In her case, the prosecutor still finds it reasonable to expect the court to rule her guilty.

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