Romanian Private Security Firm Involved in Second Romani Death in Four Months
28 May 2004
According to information received from the Petroşani-based Romani organisation Asociatia "Tumende" Valea Jiului (Tumende), on March 11, 2004, Mr Bela Dodi, a Romani man, died following a conflict with employees of a private security firm at the Coroieşti mine in the town of Vulcan in Hunedoara County. Mr Dodi, together with Mr Vasile Ilisei, Mr Dumitru Paraskiv, Mr Romolos Zagoni and Mr Gheza Bodi, all Romani, was collecting scrap metal, reportedly with the permission of the mine's guards, when employees of S.C. Protector International SRL, a private security company, arrived at the mine and brutally attacked the men. The security guards caught and severely beat Mr Ilisei, Mr Paraskiv, Mr Zagoni and Mr Bodi. The Bucharest-based Romani organisation Romani CRISS informed the ERRC that Mr Dodi managed to escape but fell as he was running and died after hitting his head on the ground. According to Tumende, Mr Bodi testified that the security guards had stated on many occasions that "Gypsies should be killed". Mr Ilisei, Mr Paraskiv, Mr Zagoni and Mr Bodi were, as of March 12, 2004, in the Vulcan Emergency Hospital in critical condition as a result of the assault by the private security guards. Tumende informed the ERRC that the local police were investigating the death of Mr Dodi. As of May 10, 2004, Romani CRISS had not been informed of the outcome of the police investigation.
The death of Mr Dodi is the second since November in which employees of S.C. Protector Inter-national SRL were involved. On November 14, 2003, Ms Olga David, a 42-year-old Romani woman, died after a guard from S.C. Protector International SRL savagely beat her for collecting coal from a mine in the nearby village of Valea Jiului. As of May 10, 2004, the investigation being carried out by the local Prosecutor's Office was ongoing. According to Romani CRISS, the prosecutor was waiting for a report by a forensic expert as to the cause of death. (ERRC, Romani, CRISS, Tumende)