European Roma Rights Centre Calls for Vigorous Investigation and Prosecution of Perpetrators of Hate Crime in Hungary
03 March 2009
In a letter to the Prime Minister, Minister of Justice and Hungarian Chief of Police today, the European Roma Rights Centre ("ERRC") called on law enforcement to deploy all necessary resources to investigate and prosecute the brutal murder of Robert and Robika Csorba of Tatarszentgyorgy. The two victims, one a five-year-old child, were buried today in a funeral attended by approximately five thousands people, Roma and non-Roma coming from all over Hungary in a show of solidarity against hate crimes. According to media reports and information provided by the Hungarian Chief of Police, since the beginning of 2008 there have been fifteen incidents of Roma houses being firebombed, and two attacks on Roma homes with hand grenades. During this time, at least five people of Roma origin have been murdered in these and other incidents, and more seriously injured.
In its letter to the Hungarian authorities, the ERRC called for an end to impunity concerning crimes of violence committed against persons of Roma origin, and criticized the poor track record of law enforcement in identifying and prosecuting offenders. The ERRC also criticized the reluctance of the authorities to characterize and prosecute such crimes as hate crimes under Article 174 B of the Hungarian Criminal Code. Echoing the findings of a report on Hungary recently published by the European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance, the ERRC called for strengthening the legal framework against hate crimes. A copy of the letter is attached.
The ERRC extends its condolences to the members of the Csorba family and the Roma community in Tatarszentgyorgy.
The full text of the letter is available at: English and Hungarian.
For further information, contact:
Judit Geller, ERRC, firstname.lastname@example.org, +36 1 413 22 00