Romani Youths Beaten by Border Guards in Hungary

07 May 2002

According to statements provided to the non-governmental The Greater Siklós, Organisation for the Protection of the Interests of Gypsies, on May 27, 2001, two Romani men, 23-year-old Mr B.K. and 22-year-old Mr T.P., who is handicapped, were beaten by Hungarian border guards in the village of Beremend, Southern Hungary, on the Hungary-Croatian border. At around 1:00 AM, their car was parked next to the church in Beremend. Mr T.P. was sitting in the car and Mr B.K. was standing beside the car, chatting with a friend, when a car with three border guards inside stopped next to them and the officials got out. The guards allegedly asked Mr B.K. and Mr T.P. to show their documents, and called the police because they assumed that the two had been drinking alcohol. The two men reportedly produced identity documents, a drivers licence and documents for the car, and when the police arrived, according to the testimony of the two young men, the officer did not test them for alcohol, and instead told them to leave the car where it was and walk home. Mr B.K. and Mr T.P. report that they instead pushed the car for approximately 4 kilometres, then got into the car and began driving towards their village. Shortly thereafter, they noticed that the border guards were following them, so they turned onto another road, were again followed, and finally pulled over. Mr B.K. and Mr T.P. testified that when Mr B.K. got out of the car, one of the guards hit him in the head, and all three shouted at the young men that they were going to kill them. The two reportedly then tried to run away, when one of the guards allegedly shouted that he would use his gun, so they stopped. The guards then reportedly forced the two men to the ground, handcuffed them and took them to the Beremend State Border Station. Mr B.K. and Mr T.P. allege that following their arrival at the station, the guards began to kick them repeatedly, then knocked them to the ground and jumped on them. The guards then reportedly called the police again. These reportedly came and tested whether the men had been drinking. When this test proved negative, they were taken to a hospital, where they were given blood tests, which also were negative. Mr B.K. and Mr T.P. report that they were then taken back to the border station. At the station, they were again beaten while handcuffed to a radiator, and the guards shouted racist insults at them. Mr B.K. and Mr T.P. stated that a police officer was present during the beating, but did not attempt to intervene. At 8:00 AM on May 27, 2001, the two men were reportedly released from detention and taken to their vehicle by the border guards. Mr B.K. and Mr T.P. both visited a doctor, from whom they received certificates attesting to their injuries. The two men then visited the The Greater Siklós Organisation for the Protection of the Interests of Gypsies in Siklós, southern Hungary, for assistance. On June 22, 2001, a lawyer from the organisation filed a complaint with the Prosecutor's Office against the five border guards on behalf of the men. A lawyer for the Organisation for the Protection of the Interest of Gypsies reported to the ERRC on March 10, 2002, that the guards had been charged with abuse of authority and bodily harm.

(Organisation for the Protection of the Interest of Gypsies)


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