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Romania: Authorities Must Investigate Police Responsibility for Death of Two Romani Men

18 June 2012

Budapest, Bucharest, 18 June 2012: The European Roma Rights Centre and Romani CRISS have sent letters of concern to the Romanian authorities concerning the involvement of police officers in two cases resulting in the death of Romani individuals.

On 31 May 2012, a 24-year-old Romani man was shot and killed by police officers while under pursuit. Ten police officers pursued two Romani men suspected of stealing construction materials. The men jumped into Pumbuita Lake, Bucharest, where one was shot in the head while treading water 10 to 15 metres from the shore. The letter sent in this case is available in English and Romanian.

On 10 June 2012, two Romani brothers were shot, one fatally, in Agrişteu, Mures County, following a police intervention in response to a local conflict. The victim was 18 years old. Police forces also beat the family of the victim. The letter to authorities in this case is available in English and Romanian.

In both instances, the ERRC and Romani CRISS called on Romanian authorities to conduct an independent, thorough and effective investigation into the legality of the police actions and to make any findings public. The NGOs also asked the authorities to condemn these deaths and to put training in place to ensure that similar incidents do not happen again.

Under international law, any use of lethal force by police officers must be justified and proportionate. These cases should be properly investigated by the State, with the relevant officers held accountable for their actions.

For further information, contact:

Sinan Gökçen
Media and Communications Officer
European Roma Rights Centre
sinan.gokcen@errc.org
+36.30.500.1324

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