The Slovak cabinet has apologised for the 2013 police raid in Moldava nad Bodvou (Košice Region) and the events that eventually led to the prosecution of the actual victims.
The document, approved on June 23, was submitted by Justice Minister Mária Kolíková (Za Ľudí) and Interior Minister Roman Mikulec (OĽaNO).
The cabinet considers the apology not only a gesture of humanity towards the victims but also a commitment of the state to avoid similar failures in the future and a signal that law enforcement bodies have an honest interest to win back the trust of people.
Limited opportunities for defending rights
It is unacceptable for the state to criminalise the victims and treat them as perpetrators for years instead of self-reflecting, the document reads.
"This way, the state has demonstrated its power on a vulnerable and marginalised group of people who have limited opportunities to defend themselves and their rights, so they often have to rely on civil society mechanisms," according to the document.
European court decided
Back in September 2020, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the police treated two members of the Roma community in Moldava nad Bodvou inhumanely in June 2013, which left more than 30 people injured.
Subsequently, six Roma from the settlement faced prosecution for perjury.
In May 2021, the judges acquitted the first two defendants, and three more were acquitted at the beginning of June.
One defendant is awaiting the final verdict in this case.
23. Jun 2021 at 15:27 | Compiled by Spectator staff