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ERRC Seeks Justice for Romani Victims of Police Violence Before European Court

26 September 2011

Budapest, 26 September 2011: During the past two weeks, the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) submitted two cases concerning incidents of police abuse and violence against Roma to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

The first case, in Russia, involved two young Romani men, who were arrested and subsequently convicted of robbery, then suffered mistreatment while in police detention. Later on, during the judicial consideration of the case, they endured violations of basic guarantees of fair trial. Appeals to national law-enforcement authorities to remedy violations and provide justice did not yield a positive result and the case was brought to the European Court of Human Rights. On behalf of its clients, the ERRC alleged that the ill-treatment at the hands of police and the failure to investigate it constitute violations of the European Convention on Human Rights.

In another case, in Hungary, submitted by the ERRC in cooperation with the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU), a Romani woman, having allegedly caused noise while hosting guests in her house, was ill-treated by police officers, who came to intervene. As in the Russian case, investigation into the actions of police officers proved to be inefficient and not capable of redressing the violations suffered by the Romani woman. As with the Russian case, the ERRC, on behalf of its clients, alleged a violation of Article 3 of the European Convention: proscription of inhumane treatment.

In both cases, the ERRC urged the European Court of Human Rights to take general measures and instruct the Governments of the Russian Federation and Hungary to bring domestic legislation in full compliance with the requirements of European Convention and create effective mechanisms that would adequately address similar kinds of violations in the future.
For further information contact:

Sinan Gökçen
ERRC Media and Communications Officer

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ERRC submission to the European Commission on Roma Inclusion in enlargement countries (May 2017)

25 May 2017

Written comments by the ERRC to the European Commission on enlargement component of the EU Roma Framework.


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Roma Rights 1 2017: Roma and Conflict: Understanding the Impact of War and Political Violence

16 May 2017

The impact of conflict on minority populations merits special attention, especially if those minorities have long been marginalized, viewed by the warring parties with a mixture of ambivalence and contempt, and deemed to be communities of little consequence in the peace-building processes that follow the conclusion of hostilities. This issue of Roma Rights Journal takes a look at the fate of Roma during and after conflicts.

Sometimes Roma have been the direct targets of murderous aggression or subject to reprisals. Then there have been the many times where individual Roma actively took a side, but too often the roles played by Roma, Travellers and other minorities were elided from the dominant national narratives that followed.

In many conflicts, caught between warring groups with no foreign power or military alliance to champion their claims, Roma found themselves displaced, despised and declaimed as bogus refugees, nomads and “mere” economic migrants in the aftermath.

As long as Europe’s largest ethnic minority is written out and rendered invisible in the histories of Europe’s wars and conflicts; and excluded from the politics of reconstruction and peace-making, the continent’s self-understanding will remain fatally flawed.

Editors: Marek Szilvasi, Kieran O’Reilly, Bernard Rorke

Roma Rights 1 2017 (PDF)

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5 May 2017

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