Attacks on Roma in Slovakia

10 September 1998

The ERRC was informed that in the afternoon of May 7, 1998, a 16-year-old Romani youth named Branislav Baranyi was beaten unconscious by a non-Romani man in the southern Slovak town of Lučenec.

The attack reportedly took place when a non-Romani man emerging from a pub began to chastise a group of Roma who were playing ball. The man allegedly physically assaulted one of the Romani boys, at which point Branislav Baranyi intervened on behalf of his friend and tried to get the man off the other boy. The man then attacked Branislav, beating him, kicking him to the ground, breaking his nose, knocking out three of his teeth, and leaving him bleeding and unconscious on the ground. A woman who tried to intervene was reportedly reprimanded by a policeman who witnessed the attack because she wanted to help a Gypsy. That police officer later denied his presence not only at the scene of the attack, but also in Lučenec at the time of the offence. When the father of the boy went to file a complaint with the police, officers allegedly attempted to dissuade him from pursuing the matter. Branislav Baranyi was taken to the hospital. He was released after three days. Later the attacker reportedly approached Branislav's mother and offered her 500 Slovak crowns (approximately 25 German marks) to withdraw the complaint. The parents are, however, determined to take the case to court.



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