More Violent Acts Towards Roma by Macedonian Police

16 December 2004

At around 11:00 PM on July 5, 2004, three police officers beat Mr Trajan Ibrahimov and Mr Bergiun Ibrahimović, Romani men from Skopje, after approaching Mr Ibrahimov's home in search of a fugitive, according to information provided to the ERRC by attorney Aksel Ahmedovski. Mr Ahmedovski reported that Mr Trajan Ibrahimov and Mr Bergiun Ibrahimović, and a young girl named Aisha Ibrahimova, also Romani, were sitting on porch of Mr Ibrahimov's home, when the three officers approached, asking, "Are you the Gypsy who escaped from Idrizova prison?"

Mr T. Ibrahimov responded that he had never been in the Idrizova prison before, at which point one of the officers moved towards him holding a truncheon and stated that he would see if Mr Ibrahimov was that person or not. The officer reportedly proceeded to beat Mr Ibrahimov on his head and all over his body then a second officer grabbed him by the hair and also bet him with a truncheon.

At this point, Mr Ahmedovski reported, the third officer reportedly told the other two officers not to beat Mr Ibrahimovic because it was possible that he was not the man they were looking for and because he did not want to be involved in something that might create problems in the future. The third officer then left Mr Ibrahimov's home. The two officers continued beating Mr Ibrahimov until Mr Bergiun Ibrahimović and Aisha tried to stop the officers' assault. According to Mr Ahmedovski, one of the officers handcuffed Mr Ibrahimović and proceeded to beat him, also with a truncheon. When the officers finished beating the two Romani men, they placed them in their car. Aisha begged the officers to let the men go, but was pushed aside roughly. Her right hand was injured as a result. The officers then took the Romani men to the police station where they were held for more than a day before being released. According to Mr Ibrahimov's medical certificate number 1694 issued on July 8, 2004, he suffered injuries to his head, eyes and body.

On behalf of Mr Ibrahimov and Mr Ibrahimović, the ERRC and Mr Ahmedovski filed a criminal complaint of maltreatment in the execution of a public function with the Public Prosecutor's Office in connection with the incident. The victims also filed a private criminal complaint against the officers involved in the incident for inflicting bodily injuries.

(ERRC)

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