Slovak investigation into police beating of Romani children in quarantined settlement last year still ongoing
Almost one year since a criminal investigation was launched into the case of an alleged attack by a police officer on children from the Romani settlement in Krompachy, Slovakia in April 2020, a conclusion has yet to be reached in the matter. "The investigation of that case is still underway. The detective from the Office of the Inspection Service is conducting a felony prosecution of that matter on suspicion of commission of the crime of abuse of power by a public official," Petra Friese of the press department at the Interior Ministry of the Slovak Republic told news server Romea.cz.
According to Friese, the detective is currently undertaking all of the procedural steps necessary to clarify the facts in accordance with the Criminal Code. Given the age of the injured parties, the detective must work closely not just with their legal representatives, but also with child psychologists.
"Currently the detective is actively communicating with the relevant prosecutor who is supervising the lawfulness of the investigation and the other steps proposed by the injured parties' representatives," Friese said. In Krompachy, which was under quarantine at the time, the officer was said to have used a truncheon to beat five young children on Monday, 27 April 2020.
The children are said to have been outside the quarantine zone at the time, collecting firewood and playing. "We went for wood and a cop began chasing us and shouting that if we didn't stop he would shoot us. We stopped and he brought us into the tunnel and beat us there," one of the little girls told Press TV last year in tears.
A criminal report about the case of the Romani children allegedly being beaten was filed by Slovak MEP Peter Pollák and by the Slovak Government Plenipotentiary for Romani Minority Affairs, Andrea Bučková, both of whom are Romani community members. Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová also asked Police President Milan Lučanský for a thorough investigation of the incident.
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