Family of the late Stanislav Tomáš files crime report against the Czech Police through their attorney
The family of Stanislav Tomáš, who died on Saturday, 19 June after being arrested, has filed a criminal report against the Czech Police with legal aid from the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC), and with the support of human rights defenders in the Czech Republic, the ERRC will take all possible legal steps available at both the domestic and the European level to get justice for the family. Maroš Matiaško, the attorney who has been provided to the family by nonprofit organizations from the Czech Republic in collaboration with the ERRC, is also taking other legal steps in the case.
Matiaško earned his Master's from the Law Faculty in Olomouc, Czech Republic and his LL.M. from the postgraduate human rights law program in Utrecht, the Netherlands. He then earned his JUDr. degree in Prague, Czech Republic.
In addition to studying law, he also expanded his education to include a Bachelor's degree in psychology and social work. He is a member of the bar association and has worked as a lawyer in the office of the European Court for Human Rights.
Matiaško's legal areas of expertise are social rights, the rights of vulnerable groups, and the rights of victims of ill-treatment. At a theoretical level, he has studied human rights philosophy and the philosophy of politics.
The chair of the ERRC, Đorđe Jovanović, commented on the organization's support for the Czech case as follows: "This is not the first time, and unfortunately, it will not be the last, that a Romani man has died upon being arrested. Police harassment, ethnic profiling, brutality, torture, and sometimes even death are the experiences of many Romani people in Europe during their contact with the criminal justice authorities."
"Until the bodies that investigate the police are fully independent, Romani people will never get justice and police officers will never face any consequences for their discriminatory actions. The ERRC will continue taking all of the legal steps in our power to achieve justice until that time," the ERRC chair said.
Mr Tomáš was forcibly handcuffed last weekend by the arresting officers in Teplice and died shortly thereafter; video footage taken of the arrest by a bystander was shared through social media, published by news server Romea.cz, and broadly criticized by Czech and international activists and organizations, which has sparked protests all over Europe. The video shows a police officer kneeling on Mr Tomáš's neck area in a way that is reminiscent of the intervention during which the African-American community member George Floyd was killed in May 2020 in the USA.
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