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August 13, 2022



European Parliament will discuss police brutality against Romani people in EU, on the basis of Czech case

3.11.2021 12:22

Police brutality against Romani people will be discussed on 23 November at the European Parliament's plenary session in Strasbourg. The debate will reference the case of Stanislav Tomáš, who died after police officers intervened against him at the end of June in Teplice  

MEP Romeo Franz of Germany, who is Romani himself, has announced the agenda item through social media. "Finally, after more than three months of persuasion, after many telephone calls, reports, articles and protests, we have managed, by combining forces, to get the case of Stanislav Tomáš, a Romani man from the Czech Republic who died after two police officers kneeled on his back and neck while he was prone on the ground, on the program of a plenary session at the European Parliament," posted Franz, who is with the Green Party.  

According to the European Parliament's website, the debate, entitled "Condemnation of police brutality committed against Romani people in the EU", will be held on Tuesday, 23 November at noon. An EP committee will also discuss violence against Romani people in direct association with the case of Mr Tomáš.  

The debate with the European Commission's Anti-Racism Coordinator, Michaela Moua, will be held in the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs on 9 November. Mr Tomáš died after being arrested by police officers in Teplice, Czech Republic on 19 June 2021, an arrest during which they used force to handcuff him.   

Bystander video of the arrest was published by news server, shared through social media, and broadly criticized by both Czech and international activists and organizations, sparking protests all over Europe. The video shows a police officer kneeling on Mr Tomáš's neck in a manner reminiscent of how George Floyd, an African-American, was murdered by police in May 2020 in the USA. 

At the close of October, the Czech Police published a brief statement claiming that the final autopsy has confirmed there was no relationship between the officers' intervention and the death of Mr Tomáš. The attorney for his family has cast doubt on that finding and the European Roma Rights Centre has called it customary police rhetoric, adding that they will continue to pursue justice in this case. 

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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