February 9th, 2017

Supreme Court rules police discriminated against Roma during 2011 Gyöngyöspata events

The Kúria, Hungary’s supreme court, threw out an earlier ruling and established that local police in northern Hungary had failed to protect a Roma community against harassment by extremist groups. At the same time, the Kúria upheld another ruling, and said that the police were not guilty of discriminatory practices when levying fines on Roma citizens for legal offences.

The two suits were initiated by human rights group Civil Liberties Union (TASZ), over developments in Gyöngyöspata village in spring 2011, when a paramilitary group staged patrols, citing an “increase in criminal activities”. Another radical group announced the establishment of a training camp next to a Roma neighbourhood, prompting a large group of Roma women and children to leave. TASZ had filed a suit over what they saw as police’s passive stance in light of the 2011 developments, and another based on the assumption that police were biased against the Roma in enforcing the law in cases of misdemeanour.

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