Excessive Force, Unlawful Detention

2014-10-13

By Adam Weiss and Michal Zalesak

On 16 June 2013, a 32 year-old man we’ll call E was going about his everyday life. Like many others from the ‘Budulovska’ neighbourhood in Moldava nad Bodvou (Slovakia), he took part in an event organised by a local NGO. Proceedings were disrupted by a police patrol that entered the neighborhood as the music equipment was being packed up. For reasons that still remain unclear, a fight broke out between the police officers and some of the young people including E. He was taken away to the police station, and the police opened an investigation against him. The investigation was subsequently concluded on 27 August 2013.

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Mixed Messages for Roma on Forced Evictions in the Wake of A.M.B. v Spain (decision, 2014)

2014-10-13

By Adam Weiss

In January, the European Court of Human Rights delivered an inadmissibility decision (which it helpfully posted on the front page of its site). The decision has tremendous implications for the single most important issue that the ERRC litigates: forced evictions of Roma. The decision is in French.

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Book Review: What is to be done about hate speech?

2014-10-13

By Bernard Rorke

Michael Herz and Peter Molnar (eds.), The Content and Context of Hate Speech Rethinking Regulation and Responses, Cambridge University Press, 2012.

The 'context' of anti-Gypsyism, and the connections between hateful words and heinous deeds pose profound and troubling questions for champions of free speech and opponents of content-based bans.

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‘Gypsy Crime’ and the Politics of Fear and Loathing

2014-10-13

By Bernard Rorke

Back in 2009 it was only the neo-fascist Jobbik that saw fit to mobilise disaffected voters on the racist ticket of Gypsy Crime. Back then Albert Pásztor, Chief Police Officer of Miskolc, caused national outrage when he declared that “the offenders in public thefts are Gypsy people. In Miskolc actually only banks or gas stations are robbed by Hungarians.  All the other robberies are committed by [Roma].”

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From the Archives: the Italian file 1997-2000

2014-10-13

By Bernard Rorke

In 2008, the declaration of a State of Emergency to combat the so-called ‘Roma menace’, prompted global media coverage and international criticism. The demonisation of Romani people in this overtly racist and populist get-tough approach served only to exacerbate communal tensions, legitimise human rights abuses, and seriously damage prospects for social inclusion. A quick perusal of ERRC’s archives between 1997 and 2000 reveals that all of this was foreseeable, preventable, and utterly unnecessary.

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