February 1st, 2012

Slovak government expresses regret in case of ethnic Hungarian charged with providing false testimony in beating case

The Slovakian government office published a statement on Wednesday expressing regret over the case of ethnic Hungarian Hedvig Malina, who suffered a beating by two skinheads in 2006 — allegedly due to her ethnicity — and who was later charged with providing false testimony.

The government said some elements of Malina’s case raised doubts over whether her rights stipulated by the European Convention of Human Rights may have been violated.

The Hungarian daily Uj Szo reported on Tuesday that the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg approved the Slovak government’s apology on November 8, 2011.

As a result, the case is now officially closed and neither Malina nor the Slovak authorities can file new proceedings.

Malina was 23 at the time of the incident in 2006. She took her case to the European Court of Human Rights in November 2007.

At the same time, an investigation launched by the Slovak chief prosecutor’s office in May 2007 is still under way on the ground of false testimony. Malina remains a suspect.

Malina’s lawyer said her client’s current situation had become “paradoxical” and added that she could still file a complaint at the committee of ministers at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

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  • TiborB

    Hedvig? Her name is Hedviga Malinova. You stripped “ova” – ok, but why to change Hedviga to Hedvig?

    • TiborB

      BTW, malina means raspberry, so next time feel free to translatge Hedviga Malinova to Hedwig Raspberry :) and nobody will know who is she…

      • Leto

        Her name is Hedvig Malina.

        -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedvig_Malina

        • TiborB

          Her name is what she has in her ID card, passport and all other her papers.

          I understand that abroad ova is stripped, but stripping also “a” goes too far I would say…

          Here is a citation from wiki:

          “Hedwig .. is a German female given name…. Hedy is an Anglicised diminutive of the name. Edwige is a French version of the name; Edvige is the Italian version; Hadewych is a Dutch version; Hedvig is a Danish, Icelandic…, Norwegian and Swedish version. Jadwiga is the Polish version…, Jadvyga is a Lithuanian version; Hedvika is a Czech and Slovene version; Hedviga is a Slovak version, Ядвига (Jadwiga) is a Russian version.”

          So this citate doesnt mention “canonical” english nor hungarian version so leaving original slovak version should be fine. It is again an overwork of some magyar trying to distinguish from slovak…

          • Leto

            She’s an ethnic Hungarian and her name is Hedvig Malina in English (That’s “Malina Hedvig” in Hungarian usage).

            If she was Slovak, which she isn’t, then her name could be Hedviga Malinova. Or it could be Hedvigovaovaova Malinovaovaovavovaova if you like that.

          • TiborB

            is the name hedvig common in hungary? Because it is non-existant in slovakia. Moreover, it implies that it is male name, like Ludwig (van Bethoven). So the combination of words souns strangely to slovaks.

            BTW, it is little bit funny to emphasize that she is pure-magyar-not-a-slovak-at-all while having surname “Malina” (Raspberry). Another name – Zázrivec – comes into my mind :)

          • Leto

            “is the name hedvig common in hungary?”

            No, it isn’t. But this is irrelevant.
            So now let’s conclude finally in that the person the Slovak government had to apologize to is called Hedvig Malina.

          • TiborB

            Im just trying to find out why it was necessary to strip this “a” from hedviga. Does it sound unnaturaly in english? Really? And in magyar too?

            BTW, in 2008 she maried Peter Žak, so her current name is Hedviga Žáková-Malinová (obviously she decided to keep bith name), or perhaps Hedviga Žak-Malina (it is possible now for woman to have male form of surname in slovakia I believe)

            PS: Žak seems like czech name, nice, is not it? :)

          • Szabad Ember

            @TiborB

            Is it possible that her parents named her Hedvig, then the Slovak government (at that time, a constituent part of communist Czechoslovakia), in its zeal to assimilate non-Slovaks, insisted that her name officially be Hedviga, because it sounded more Slovak? I honestly don’t know; I’ll have to ask my Hungarian-Slovak friends.

          • justasking

            @Leto,

            “Or it could be Hedvigovaovaova Malinovaovaovavovaova if you like that”

            :D :D

          • TiborB

            to multiple comments:

            In regard to names and form of names – My name is Tibor, but I can be accustomed to versions like Tibčo, Tibi, Tiborko, Tibino. But clearly there is one “basic” form of name and it is Tibor and this is what I have in my documents.
            Similarly with Hedviga – all right, she can use alternatives like Hedva, Hedvička, Heda, Hedvina, Hedvika but official form of the name is Hedviga.
            As long as you are slovak citizen and have slovak papers.

            in regard to -ova: Slovak is very complex language. Fe. word Hedviga has various forms like Hedvige, Hedvigu, Hedvigou depending on some language aspects (too complex to explain).
            And with “-ova” it is similar situation. In case of surname it just indicates that person is female. Nothing wrong with it. If you ommit it, you just indicate that the person is male.

            So if she feels that she is Hedvig Malina Žak, all right, but officialy she is Hedviga Malinova Žaková…

            And the above mentioned wiki should start like this:
            Hedviga Malinova (Hungarian: Hedvig Malina) …..

          • Szabad Ember

            @TiborB

            So if the government forced you to change your name to “Xrgslttt Hhhhh”, would you then say that is your name, and contradict anyone who tried to use your original name? Because that is essentially what may have happened to Hedviga. Don’t you think that she should be able to decide what her name is? Why do you care so much?

          • TiborB

            @Szabad Ember

            “forced” is strong word. I presume that her mother was Malinova (if she was married), so she was malinova as well. I would not call it “forced”
            Also in regard to first name – rules might be strict (no alternatives to basic form) but this applies to everybody, not only magyars. I believe name hedviga is written in her birth certificate. So no additional forced renaming.

            And why I care for her name so much? I dont care for her or her name. I object to general magyar aproach. I cannot imagine that some magyar let say Gyula Kovacs was “renamed” to Juraj Kováč on some wiki site. And then somebody would insist that Juraj Kováč is the real name of the person, and Gyula Kovacs (name in all papers of the person) is some secondary, unimportant and forced name.

            Only exemption would be a person living in pre-1918 hungary, than I can imagine some duality in names.

          • Szabad Ember

            @TiborB

            Whether it is applied to everybody or not is not relevant; in this case, it is completely possible that her mother wanted her to have the name Hedvig, but, for reasons of suppressing minorities, her official name is Hedviga. Therefore, she would be forced to have a name that neither she nor her parents wanted.

            Imagine if you were living in Hungary, and the Hungarian government wouldn’t allow you to officially name your child with a Slovak name, yet you couldn’t give your child a Slovak birth certificate. Now you might have somewhat of an idea as to why these people here are so insistent that her real name is Hedvig. They might be wrong, but I’m betting it’s the more likely case.

          • TiborB

            @Szabad Ember

            If you live in a country with very different “naming” rules and with completely different (incompatible) language such problems / discrepancies are probably quite common. It is indeed philosophical question. What (which name) has bigger priority… Moreover what wished her mother might be forgotten over years, how she reffers to herself can change over years, what version of name her surrounding uses more can change over years as well. What is given and stable is her official name…

          • Szabad Ember

            @TiborB

            Well, it sounds like she wants her name to be Hedvig, so who cares what name is more stable? In many countries, you can have your name legally changed. I’m betting, though, that, since she is ethnically Hungarian, she and her family have always called her Hedvig, despite Slovakia’s hypocritical aping of the hated imperialists’ draconian naming conventions.

            Isn’t it funny that when ethnic groups are in the minority, they complain about their rights, then they turn around and deprive others of those same rights once they become the majority. It happens with such regularity that I can’t say Slovaks are any different than most others, but that doesn’t make them right.

          • TiborB

            @Szabad Ember

            Here is short list of some of most frequent slovak names given to babies lately, tell me, would these names be accepted by hungarian authorities for birth certificates?

            Sofia, Viktória, Natália, Laura, Kristína, Samuel, Tomáš, Lukáš, Martin, Filip, Michal, Matúš, Matej

            and how many slovaks in hungary would rather prefer magyar variants for official purposes???

          • SE aka Szabad Ember

            @TiborB

            What does it matter how many ethnic Hungarians in Slovakia want to give their children Hungarian names? Do personal human rights only kick in when there is a certain number of people asking for them? Certainly more than people in Hungary who want to give their kids Slovak names!

            Your argument about Slovak names in Hungary is of the classic “well, they violate human rights, so we should be able to, too” variety.

            I don’t know if the Hungarian government would insist that ethnic Slovaks use Hungarian names, but even if they did, how would that justify other countries doing the same? How would it justify your insistence that Hedvig not be allowed to the use the name she wants to? It’s not an offensive name, it’s even just one letter away from a Slovak name, yet here you are, arguing that just because she was born in Slovakia, that means that she must have an “a” at the end of her name. The only people who are that insistent are Jobbik-type nationalists, of which there are plenty in Slovakia, too.

            Besides, the issue probably rarely comes up, because there are precious few ethnic minorities in Hungary. In Slovakia, meanwhile, about 10% of the population is Hungarian. That group is systematically discriminated against, sometimes just because they want to speak in Hungarian in their own majority-Hungarian community. I’ve never heard of anyone getting beat up in Hungary because he or she was Slovak, yet what was the article at the top of this thread about, exactly?

          • TiborB

            re SE

            So at the end we will find out that slovak naming conventions are not “draconian” but probably are more-less standard in this part of europe.
            When looking at hungary it seems that best policy how to eliminate complains of minorities is to eliminate minorities themselves… :)

          • Szabad Ember

            @TiborB

            I disagree; I think people should be able to name their children whatever they want, within the bounds of civility and the child’s welfare, and that people should be able to legally change their names if they want. Anything less is draconian, in my opinion, especially if it is meant to suppress minorities. I don’t honestly know if Hungary does suppress minorities’ rights in this way, but, if they do, it in no way excuses the Slovak policy from being draconian, as well.

            Hungary, since you don’t know, had its minorities taken away from it, so your snide remark about eliminating minorities only applies to you and Slovakia, not to Hungarians, and also shows what lengths you would be willing to go to make Slovakia pure. Were you, by any chance, friends with Milosevic and Karadic? You seem to share their political views.

        • Leto

          Because, like I told you, that’s her name. She herself must know better.

          • Gejza

            A humble remark to the name Hedvig: the first historically well-known Hedvig (it is a German nama) was Anjou Hedvig, third daughter of King Louis the Great of Hungary. Hedvig (*1374 – + 1399) was crowned (as a child) Polish queen 1n 1384 then she married Jagiello, the Lithuanian Grand Duke who bacame Polish king under the name Wladislaw II. The price for the Polish Kingdom was the conversion to Catholic faith for Jagiello and the Lithuanian people. Hedvig, Jadwiga in Polish was regarded saint at the time of her death, however, she was canonised only in Kraków, 1997 by Pope John Paul II.
            Otherwise Hedvig is not too frequent but common name in Hungary, its nickname is Hédi.

          • TiborB

            @gejza

            I wonder if Polland authorities would accept name “Hedvig” as a birth name. Or if any such person – her parrents rather would be forced to use official form – Jadwiga instead.

  • MagyarViking

    Well, Hungarian Authorities do not allow us non-Magyars to have our names properly recorded in Hungary. One of my children got in total 4 names when it was born, then later we added officially a middle-name, so it has 5 names

    According to Hungarian law, no Hungarian citizen can have more than 3 names, so this child has 5 name in its Swedish passport and 3 names in its Hungarian passport

    It is not abnormal for a Swede to have 4 names, I have it, my Mother has it, my Father has it, most Swedes I know have it. Before first-names were more important than last-names, so that is why we Swedes still feel it is important to carry on our traditions

    Sense-morale: Hungarians are so touchy when it comes to names, so they discriminate against us Swedes, who appreciate a good name

  • Leto

    Putting asides names, the point is that finally dodgy Slovakia was badly ashamed in this matter and their government had to apologize to Hedvig Malina in the end.

    • TiborB

      and what is sad is that fico is going to win elections and his policy is somewhat similar to Orbans. I only hopes that european union will hold him under his neck and dont allow him to implement all his great ideas…

      • Leto

        No, Fico is much more like a Slovak Gyurcsány. His life story is more like Gyurcsány’s.
        As for his victory, well, he’ll screw your economy up … though not so much like Gyurcsány did to ours (since, Slovakia being in the euro zone, he’ll be watched more indeed, especially after the Greek case).
        You’ve been pretty lucky from this point of view that he eventually didn’t win in 2008.
        Also, the tension between Slovakia and Hungary will run very high since Fico loves to play the Hungarian card.

        • TiborB

          I dont know a lot about your Ďurčáni, but Fico has similar agenda like Orban has, f.e. – dislike of private pensions, talk about additional taxation of banks and big companies, national agenda.

          I hope the tension will not go up, because there is very “low” demand for this among slovaks. You are too weak now (politicaly and economically) and hence are not perceived as dangerous anymore. I believe social program will be most important for Fico.

          • Anonymous

            “Ďurčáni” :) – that was a good one.

  • Leto

    Putting names aside

  • Leto

    The tensions will run high, Fico will absolutely make sure about that.

    And you are going to be weaker and Hungary is going to get stronger.

    • TiborB

      re tension – maybe, but Im bit optimistic in regard to this. We have more important problems than fighting hungary. And Fico is going to play a good boy to europe. I dont think he wants to become second orban and slovakia second hungary…

      • Leto

        After Fico would sufficiently mess up your economy, his primary topic will be creating anomisity towards Hungary and messing with ethnic Hungarians in your puny country.

        Fico managed to create a huge tension between Slovakia and Hungary even when we had this postcommie Gyurcsány-Bajnai lot in power here whose concerns lied really elsewhere than ethnic Hungarians.
        Don’t worry about a European hysteria campaign against Slovakia though. You got away even with the Benes decrees and your outrageous language law.

        • TiborB

          I believe slovakia is changing fast. Corruption, situation in justice, ekonomic problems, contribution to europe crisis funds – this is what peoples are interesting in. It will be hard to divert attention from this to such non-issue as hungary. Moreover, MOST-HID is right wing party so natural ally against fico. Of course, less inteligent part of slovaks will be much easier to distract from issues that matters to issues like fighting magyars.

          • Leto

            Rest assured it won’t be hard for Fico to play the Hungarian card. Wait and see.

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