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Hungarian Head of Police acknowledges violation of the victims' right to fair procedure one year after the double murder committed in Tatárszentgyörgy

18 February 2010

Budapest, 18 February 2010: The European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC), the Legal Defence Bureau for National and Ethnic Minorities (NEKI) and the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (TASZ) welcome the administrative decision brought by the Head of the National Police Mr József Bencze approving the resolution of the Independent Police Complaint Committee (IPCC) on the violation of the fundamental rights of the victims in the double murder committed in Tatárszentgyörgy on 23 February 2009.

The IPCC, in its November 2009 resolution, stated that the police violated the fundamental rights of the victims under the Constitution in initially treating the brutal murder as an accident and in failing to secure the crime scene. This finding mirrors the findings contained in a shadow report produced by the undersigned organisations on police misconduct during the investigation, available HERE.

The administrative decision issued by the Head of the National Police approved the findings of the IPCC and noted that internal disciplinary procedures were initiated against two police officers who were held accountable for the failures. However, details of these disciplinary procedures have not made public, nor has the protocol for investigation of racially-motivated crimes.

After one year of the brutal attack the undersigned NGOs call upon the National Police:

  • to disclose the results of the unspecified disciplinary actions against the officials and clarify the steps they have taken to investigate the misconduct and ensure that it does not recur in the future;
  • to ensure that law enforcement agencies receive appropriate training in addressing racially-motivated crimes according to international standards; and
  • to publicise police protocols on the investigation of racially-motivated crimes.

For further information, please contact:

Marton Udvari, NEKI, udvari@neki.hu +36 1 303 8973 (English and Hungarian) Balazs Denes, TASZ, tasz@tasz.hu +36 1 209 0046 (English and Hungarian) Judit Geller, ERRC, judit.geller@errc.org +36 1 413 2200 (English and Hungarian)

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