Hungarian Roma Denied Justice in Attack by Police
07 February 2004
On September 16, 2003, the Budapest-based Roma Press Center (RSK) reported that the police officers involved in an attack against Romani mourners in a hospital in Gyöngyös on November 1, 2002 were acquitted on all charges. Hospital security staff called the police when the Romani group began to loudly mourn the loss of their grandmother. The police arrived and began to beat the mourners, including women and children (background information on the case is available at: Mourning Roma Beaten by Police in Hungary). The court reportedly cited a lack of evidence against the officers as the reason for the acquittal. According to the RSK, the Roma appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, but their claim was dismissed. Five Romani men involved in the incident - Mr Sándor Kanalas, Mr Péter Kanalas, Mr Kálmán Kanalas, Mr László Lakatos and Mr Csaba Raffael - were charged with assaulting authorities and causing bodily harm. As of December 1, 2003, the Romani men were awaiting trial.