Police violence against Romani man in Tetétlen, Hungary

07 November 1997

On August 8, 1997, a police officer allegedly attacked Mr V.B., a Romani man, in a bar in Tetétlen, eastern Hungary. According to ERRC information, the victim was sitting in the bar playing cards with friends when Officer K.E. came in. He was off duty and had allegedly been drinking. According to Mr V.B., his wife M.B. entered the bar and asked him for the money that he was carrying as she did not want him to gamble it. The policeman is then alleged to have told Mrs M.B. to hit her husband in the head with a chair. When Mr V.B. said that the discussion he was having with his wife was a family affair, Officer K.E. allegedly replied, "What do you mean I have nothing to do with this, you Gypsy son of a bitch." He is then said to have swept everything off Mr V.B.'s table and pulled him off the chair by his hair. Mr V.B. avoided a blow from Officer K.E. which hit another customer, Mr S.F., instead. Officer K.E. than allegedly pulled Mr V.B. outside the bar, where he kicked and hit him repeatedly. Officer K.E. allegedly told him not to go to a doctor.

The victim however saw a doctor two days later. The record of his medical examination states that Mr V.B.'s body was heavily bruised.

Mr István Horváth, of the Foundation for Romani Civil Rights, filed an official complaint with the prosecutor's office, urging thorough investigation of the incident. At the moment, Mr V.B. is currently staying with relatives. He is afraid to go home as he claims that the policeman has threatened to beat him again.

(ERRC, Foundation for Romani Civil Rights)


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