Killing of Romani youth in Hungary

15 July 1999

The Hungarian press and televised media reported in the early days of June that a Romani youth named Krisztián Mohácsi had been found stabbed to death in the afternoon of May 28 in the town of Göd in Pest County, just outside the capital city. Initial reports suggested that the crime had been a racially motivated killing. A local inhabitant reportedly heard Krisztián Mohácsi shouting and ran to find him lying near a railroad crossing. The 14-year-old victim reportedly named his attackers before dying at the scene of the attack. Police subsequently heightened security in the Göd-Újtelep area during the investigation. Police remanded into custody two 15-year-old suspects, J.V. and A.T., on June 10. Several other persons had been interrogated prior to their detention. The weapon police believe was used to commit the crime and blood-stained clothes turned up during searches of the homes of both suspects. Police state that they have ruled out racism as a motivating factor in the attack. According to police, the suspects say that Krisztián terrorised pupils at the local school and demanded money from them and this is why they killed him. According to statements by one of the suspects in police custody, Krisztián had tried to take one of their bicycles and put pressure on them concerning a debt which they state did not exist. The two youths reportedly lured the victim to an abandoned industrial railway where they stabbed him to death. Police state that they have ruled out racial motivation in the attack since the suspects allegedly took 50,000 Hungarian forints (approximately 200 euros) from the victim at the time of the killing. Both suspects were in custody as of June 21. The police are not providing any further information as the suspects are minors. The incident received widespread coverage in the Hungarian media. Reporting has primarily been centred on the rumour that the victim's family has sworn to avenge the killing. The ERRC is convinced that, based on all of the facts made available to the public by the police, investigators should be taking the possibility of racial animus seriously in the case.

(ERRC, Magyar Hírlap)


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