Police officers assault Romani man in Macedonia

05 September 1999

The Association for Human Rights Protection of Roma (ARRP) from Štip, Macedonia, reported that two policemen attacked a 38-year-old Romani man, Mr Mamut Juseinov on July 6, 1999. According to testimony provided to ARRP, Mr Juseinov owed 1000 Macedonian denars (approximately 16 euros) to the owner of a grocery store. The owner of the shop insisted that he pay the money back, which Mr Juseinov promised to do as soon as he received his social security benefits. In response, the shop owner contacted her nephew, a policeman employed with the Štip Ministry of Interior.

Together with another colleague, the policeman reportedly went to the house of Mr Juseinov. Both of the men were in uniform. One of the policemen was holding a gun in his hand, and the other one had a nightstick. They entered the house by force and immediately started to beat Mr Juseinov. Mrs Juseinova, who was four months pregnant, ran out of the house towards their neighbours' house and fainted on the doorstep. In the meantime, the policemen continued to beat Mr Mamut Juseinov for approximately fifteen minutes striking blows on his head and body with their nightsticks and other objects that were available. At that point the neighbours ran to the Juseinov house and saw the policemen assaulting Mr Juseinov.

Upon seeing that the neighbours were in the house, the policemen stopped hitting Mr Juseinov. When they heard that Mrs Juseinov had fainted, they went to see her and asked why she had fainted. She did not reply, still scared after having seen them assault her husband. After that, the policemen took Mr Juseinov to the local police station, where they took down his personal data and asked him to make a statement. After an hour at the police station, Mr Juseinov was released without being charged with any crime.

The ARRP requested a meeting with Štip representatives of Ministry of the Interior on July 7 to discuss the incident. As of August 26, 1999, the ARRP had not received any response to their request. Mr Juseinov did not press charges against the policemen.

(Association for Human Rights Protection of Roma)

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