Anti-Roma violence breaks out in Fejér County as Székesfehérvár events unfold

02 April 1998

Anti-Roma violence not clearly related to developments in Székesfehérvár was reported in Fejér County as the Rádió Street 11 events unfolded, and observers noted an increase in anti-Roma sentiment in the area. Roma Sajtóközpont (RSK) reported on December 22 that anti-Roma violence had taken place early in the morning of Sunday, December 14, in the village of Polgárdi, 20km from Székesfehérvár. ERRC investigation revealed that during the incident, twenty youths beat three persons, two Roma and one non-Rom both inside and outside a disco called „Bolero”. The victims were among a group of five people, four of whom were Roma, who went by car to the disco from another village. According to victim testimony, after they had gone inside, one man approached a Romani youth named L.S. and, without warning, began to beat him. The non-Romani man from the group, Mr J.B., attempted to help L.S. out of the disco, but several other people evidently joined the assailant at this point. When the two men finally managed to get outside, they were reportedly followed by more than twenty people who shouted racist slogans such as „Kill the Gypsy!” and attacked L.S.. J.B. told the ERRC that he fled into a nearby park and hid. Two other people who had come with L.S. and J.B. reportedly attempted to phone the police at this point from a telephone box outside the disco, but they told RSK that the police did not believe them. L.S., visibly bloody, managed to run several hundred metres up the road to a pub which was closing, but he told the ERRC that the waiters inside would not open the door for him. Only after several people from the disco arrived and began to beat L.S. outside the door of the pub did the waiters cail the police. L.S. was eventually taken to the Csolnoky Ferenc Hospital traumatology unit in neighbouring Veszprém County. A doctor there told the ERRC that the victim had suffered a skull fracture and that his face was badly bruised. He was questioned in hospital and filed a complaint against his assailants. Veszprém County Police Press Spokesperson Ágnes Szabó Ráczné told the ERRC that a complaint of serious bodily injury has been filed and an investigation is open. She stated that the police have identified one suspect in connection with the case.

(ERRC, Roma Sajtóközpont)


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