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Hungarian court denies compensation to family of wrongly convicted Romani man

5 September 1999

The Roma Press Center reported on July 2, 1999, that the town court of Eger had rendered a first-instance verdict in the case of Mr Dénes Pusoma, a Romani man who spent two and a half years in prison for a crime that the court found subsequently he didn't commit. The court decided against awarding any compensation to Mr Pusoma's family, who are pursuing the case in the wake of Mr Pusoma's death. Mr Pusoma was convicted of murdering an elderly woman during a robbery in the village of Bükkszenterzsébet, in northeastern Hungary in the spring of 1994. In April 1995, the county court of Heves sentenced him to six years in prison. One year later, evidence was uncovered that exonerated Pusoma and he was released. In 1996 he requested 2.6 million Hungarian forints (approximately 10,300 euros) in compensation from the Hungarian state. Following his release he was unable to find employment or to resume a normal life. While his case was pending he committed suicide. His family has maintained his demand for compensation.

According to Ms Bea Bodrogi of the Legal Defense Bureau for National and Ethnic Minorities (NEKI), the organisation representing Mr Pusoma's family, the decision of the Eger court is typical of Hungarian courts; the majority of cases requesting compensation for people who are wrongly convicted are turned down. However, unusual in this case is the fact that Mr Pusoma's family has been ordered to bear the costs of the proceedings, said Ms Bodrogi. According to the Roma Press Center, the family intends to appeal the case.

(Roma Press Center, NEKI)

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ERRC submission to UN HRC on Hungary (February 2018)

14 February 2018

Written Comments of the European Roma Rights Centre concerning Hungary to the UN Human Rights Committee for consideration at its 122nd session (12 Narch - 6 April 2018).

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The Fragility of Professional Competence: A Preliminary Account of Child Protection Practice with Romani and Traveller Children in England

24 January 2018

Romani and Traveller children in England are much more likely to be taken into state care than the majority population, and the numbers are rising. Between 2009 and 2016 the number of Irish Travellers in care has risen by 400% and the number of Romani children has risen 933%. The increases are not consistent with national trends, and when compared to population data, suggest that Romani and Traveller children living in the UK could be 3 times more likely be taken into public care than any other child. 

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Families Divided: Romani and Egyptian Children in Albanian Institutions

21 November 2017

There’s a high percentage of Romani and Egyptian children in children’s homes in Albania – a disproportionate number. These children are often put into institutions because of poverty, and then find it impossible ever to return to their families. Because of centuries of discrimination Roma and Egyptians in Albania are less likely to live in adequate housing, less likely to be employed and more likely to feel the effects of extreme poverty.

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