ERRC Seeks Justice for Romani Victims of Police Violence Before European Court
Budapest, 26 September 2011: During the past two weeks, the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) submitted two cases concerning incidents of police abuse and violence against Roma to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
The first case, in Russia, involved two young Romani men, who were arrested and subsequently convicted of robbery, then suffered mistreatment while in police detention. Later on, during the judicial consideration of the case, they endured violations of basic guarantees of fair trial. Appeals to national law-enforcement authorities to remedy violations and provide justice did not yield a positive result and the case was brought to the European Court of Human Rights. On behalf of its clients, the ERRC alleged that the ill-treatment at the hands of police and the failure to investigate it constitute violations of the European Convention on Human Rights.
In another case, in Hungary, submitted by the ERRC in cooperation with the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU), a Romani woman, having allegedly caused noise while hosting guests in her house, was ill-treated by police officers, who came to intervene. As in the Russian case, investigation into the actions of police officers proved to be inefficient and not capable of redressing the violations suffered by the Romani woman. As with the Russian case, the ERRC, on behalf of its clients, alleged a violation of Article 3 of the European Convention: proscription of inhumane treatment.
In both cases, the ERRC urged the European Court of Human Rights to take general measures and instruct the Governments of the Russian Federation and Hungary to bring domestic legislation in full compliance with the requirements of European Convention and create effective mechanisms that would adequately address similar kinds of violations in the future.
For further information contact:
ERRC Media and Communications Officer