Romani Man Beaten in Serbia

20 November 2007

Mr Femija Bajrami, 45-year-old Romani man, was assaulted on the night of 16 August 2007 in the Belgrade suburb of Zemun, according to a report by the Serbian radio station B92. The incident reportedly occurred at around 10:00 PM when three men knocked Mr Bajrami to the ground and began hitting him with chains. He sustained light injuries and was immediately transferred to the Clinical Center in Bežanijska Kosa to receive treatment. Mr Bajrami's neighbours were quoted to have stated that assaults on Roma in Zemun are frequent. B92 reported that Belgrade police recorded five attacks on Roma in the first two weeks of August alone.

In other news, B92 also reported that on 17 August, police identified persons suspected of attacking a group of Romani youths in New Belgrade on 11 August. Police reportedly filed criminal complaints against Dobrica L., 21, Dalibor V., 21, Milan J., 18, Aca S., 19, and a minor G.M., 17, on suspicion of inflicting grievous bodily harm and inciting ethnic, racial and religious hatred and intolerance.

On the night of 10/11 August, the suspects, who were intoxicated, reportedly went from a park to the local Romani settlement where Dobrica L. set fire to a nylon sheet covering Ms S. I.'s hut. The group reportedly then moved to a nearby building where they started yelling insults at Roma appearing at the scene.

According to B92, a group of Roma, including Ms S. I., began to chase the suspects and, having caught them, engaged in a brawl in which Ms S. I. suffered life-threatening injuries.



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