Romani Man Shot by Police in Hungary
10 May 2003
On February 19, 2003, Debrecen police shot Mr S.B., a 19-year-old Romani youth, in the abdomen in Hajdúhadház in northeastern Hungary, according to the Budapest-based Roma Press Center (RSK) of February 23, 2003. The RSK reported that, according to the Hajdú-Bihar County Police Department, two officers attempted to arrest Mr S.B., suspected of theft, but upon entering his home, Mr S.B. allegedly attacked the officers with an axe. According to the police report as reported by RSK, one of the officers then shot Mr S.B. in self-defence. Mr S.B. then fled the scene, but was captured soon thereafter and detained. However, RSK reported that, according to Mr Attila Lakatos, Mr S.B.'s neighbour, Mr S.B. was handcuffed when he ran out of his home, but had not yet been shot. According to Mr Lakatos, the officers ran out of the house and viciously beat Mr S.B. in the street, and then shot him in the abdomen. The officer also reportedly aimed his gun at Roma from the neighbourhood who had arrived at the scene. According to RSK, Mr S.B. was treated in hospital for the gunshot wound and upon recovery, will stand trial for assaulting an officer and attempted homicide against a state official. On April 14, 2003, RSK informed the ERRC that the Hajdú-Bihar County Police Department had performed an investigation into the actions of the officers and found that the shooting was legally justified.