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November 27, 2021

 

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Case of Stanislav Tomáš discussed during plenary session of the European Parliament

24.11.2021 6:34
The European Parliament (PHOTO: David Iliff, CC-BY-SA 3.0)
The European Parliament (PHOTO: David Iliff, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

Yesterday's plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg included a debate about police brutality against Romani people, scheduled to begin after 17:00 CET and to last approximately half an hour, to discuss the case of Stanislav Tomáš, who died after police intervened against him at the close of June in Teplice, Czech Republic. News server Romea.cz carried the live feed of the debate, during which Romani MEPs Romeo Franz of Germany (Greens) and Peter Pollák of Slovakia (OLANO) spoke. 

"Finally, after more than three months of persuading people, after many phone calls, reports, articles and protests, we have managed to combine our forces to get the case of Stanislav Tomáš, the young Romani man in the Czech Republic who died after two officers kneeled on his back and neck as he was prone on the ground, included on the program of the plenary session in the European Parliament," Franz posted to Facebook at the start of November. On 19 June 2021, officers used force to handcuff Mr Tomáš and he passed away later that day. 

Bystander video of the arrest was shared through social media, saved and published by news server Romea.cz, and broadly criticized by both Czech and international activists and organizations, sparking protests all over Europe. The footage shows a police officer kneeling on Mr Tomáš's neck area in a way that is reminiscent of the arrest during which a police officer in the USA murdered a Black man, George Floyd, in May 2020. 

At the close of October, the Czech Police published a brief statement referencing the final autopsy report on Mr Tomáš, which they say proves there was no association between how the officers dealt with Mr Tomáš physically and his subsequent death. The lawyer for the family of Mr Tomáš has cast doubt on the findings of the expert assessments referenced by the police, and the European Roma Rights Centre responded by saying that such rhetoric from police is customary in such cases and that they will continue to pursue justice in this case through their support for the family's legal representation. 

RECORDING OF THE DEBATE

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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death after police intervention, European Parliament, Peter Pollák, Roma



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