European Roma Rights Centre: It may take years to legally resolve the death of Stanislav Tomáš, information cannot be released during an ongoing investigation
Jonathan Lee of the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) has released a video statement explaining that the legal proceedings in the case of the death of Stanislav Tomáš after police intervened against him on 19 June in Teplice, Czech Republic, can be expected to take years. Lee also reported on news related to the case in his statement.
The ERRC is calling on "interested parties" to "refrain from requesting confidential information which cannot be shared publicly with representatives of the press or civil society" before the investigation of the case has been fully completed. Along with nonprofit organizations in the Czech Republic the ERRC has arranged for a lawyer to represent the family of Mr Tomáš, who is currently legally addressing the case.
TRANSCRIPT OF THE FULL ERRC STATEMENT
This is a legal update from the European Roma Rights Centre on the death of the Romani man, Stanislav Tomas, on the 19th June in Teplice, Czech Republic.
The ERRC have contracted a local lawyer in the Czech Republic who will represent the interests of Mr. Tomas’ surviving family going forward. This lawyer has travelled to Teplice earlier this week and signed a power of attorney agreement with a family member of Mr. Tomas. We have now also submitted a criminal complaint concerning his death which occurred while in police custody.
From this point onwards the timeline for the case will be dictated by the Czech judicial system. We cannot give a useful estimate as to how long this will take – but I can tell you that it is likely to take a number of years from this point based on other similar cases which we have taken in the past.
The ERRC and our local partners in the Czech Republic are committed to exploring all legal options available, both domestically and at a European level, to ensure that the family of the victim receives justice.
While the complaint is pending and legal action is ongoing, the legal counsel and members of the family request that interested parties refrain from requesting confidential information which cannot be shared publicly with representatives of the press or civil society.
What stands out about this incident is that it was caught on camera. Most of the many cases of police brutality or killings which the ERRC litigates are not filmed, and therefore do not receive this level of attention or public support. Just under 50% of all of our legal cases concern police misconduct against Romani people. It is without a doubt the most visible and one of the most common human rights abuses that Romani people face in Europe. We will continue to use all of our expertise, resources, and experience in challenging police misconduct. And we will continue to call out institutionally racist police forces, governments, and their apologists as we have done for the last 25 years.
Thank you very much for the messages of support we have received. We will of course keep you updated via our usual channels of any updates relating to the current case in the Czech Republic.
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