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August 20, 2018
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Hungary arrests five over refugee deaths, Austrian authorities save intercepted children

30.8.2015 23:06
The truck in which dozens of dead refugees were found on 27 August 2015 in Austria. (PHOTO:  Repro video
The truck in which dozens of dead refugees were found on 27 August 2015 in Austria. (PHOTO: Repro video

A court in the Hungarian city of Kecskemét remanded four men into custody on 28 August who are suspected of having contributed to the deaths of the 71 refugees in a refrigerator truck that was discovered in eastern Austria last week. Agence France-Presse reports that those arrested will remain in custody until 29 September at the request of Hungarian prosecutors.  

A fifth suspect was subsequently arrested in Hungary. Justice officials there believe those arrested to date are just "small fish" in a gang of human traffickers.

The bodies of what were probably Syrian refugees were found by Austrian Police last Thursday in a parked truck on the highway between Budapest and Vienna. Those suspected of participating in the tragedy who were arrested in Hungary are described as one Afghan man and three Bulgarians.

The Austrian Press Agency reports that a Bulgarian businessman with Lebanese roots is the owner of the truck and that the Afghan and one of the arrested Bulgarians were drivers. The fifth man detained has also been described as Bulgarian.

It is unclear how long the corpses were in the truck, which previously belonged to the Slovak meat production company Hyza and still bears the logo of that firm. Hungarian authorities say the truck entered Austria from Kecskemét in central Hungary.

The New York Times reported yesterday that three small children had been hospitalized with severe dehydration in northern Austria after being found in another small van with 23 other migrants by police, narrowly averting another fatal tragedy involving Middle Eastern refugees taking their chances with human traffickers. Police found the children around 4 AM Friday after chasing the vehicle near the Austrian-German border, less than 24 hours after the decomposing bodies in the other truck were found.

The paper reports that twin girls, aged five, and a six-year-old boy from Syria were in life-threatening condition and were immediately hospitalized in Braunau, where they have since improved, according to police spokesperson David Furtner. The driver, a 29-year-old Romanian, was arrested. 

agw, ČTK, mik, The New York Times, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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refugee, war, Asylum, Austria, Bulgaria, Human trafficking, Hungary


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Tomáš Ščuka: Romani people need competent representation first and foremost, not Romani representation at all costs

1.8.2018 10:04
I would like to discuss one of the big deficiencies in the Romani community, and that is the active participation of Romani people in political life. Thanks to the existence of online social networks, which make communications and the opportunity to share opinions so easy, we have recently been able to follow different calls to action, discussions, and similar inputs from the widest possible sample of Romani people across the Czech Republic who are frequently expressing their views of the necessity for higher participation by our community and sharing their perspectives.
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Edita Stejskalová calls on Czech Govt to create the position of Commissioner for Romani Affairs

1.8.2018 6:48
Speaking yesterday at a demonstration in Prague, Edita Stejskalová, a civil society member of the Czech Government Council on Romani Minority Affairs, called for the Czech Government to immediately create the position of a Commissioner for Romani Affairs. "Romani people do not live in poverty and social exclusion by choice! Romani people are entitled to equal, fair treatment! Romani people do not want to live on the fringes of society! Romani people are demanding that EU institutions and their own Governments educate society to respect the rights of all citizens, and we ask the courts to thoroughly punish advocacy of political opinions based on theories of racial superiority! Romani people demand adequate protection of their lives and personalysecurity, as is guaranteed to all citizens! Romani people demand active, seriously-conceived participation from the national to the international level in decision-making processes," she called on the authorities in a speech that news server is publishing in full translation below.
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Slovak Govt Plenipotentiary for the Romani Community: Žilina is a textbook example of hate crime

27.7.2018 8:12
The recent attack on Romani people in Žilina, Slovakia, one of whom is hospitlaized with a brain hemorrhage, is a textbook example of hate crime according to the Slovak Government Plenipotentiary for the Romani Community, Ábel Ravasz (a member of the Most-Híd party), and should be prosecuted as one. The chair of the Romani Union civic association in Slovakia (ÚRS), František Tanko, says Romani people abroad and in Slovakia are outraged by the racist crime and have announced a protest march in Žilina.
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