Slovak Interior Ministry says police raid on Romani settlement was correct, victims appeal to Constitutional Court
News server Romovia.SME.sk reports that the Slovak Interior Ministry's Inspection Authority has halted the prosecution of the police officers involved in a raid on a Romani settlement in Moldava nad Bodvou in the summer of 2013. Romani residents of the settlement have now turned to the Constitutional Court with their complaint about the raid.
In March of this year the Inspection Authority revoked four of the six counts on which the police officers were charged. The Interior Ministry has now completed its investigation of the two remaining points, one of which was trespassing and the other of which was abuse of the power of a public official by using disproportiornate means of force in a repressive manner.
The ministry has ruled that the intervening officers did not break the law. Slovak ombudsperson Jana Dubovcová previously asserted that the intervention did not meet the condition of necessity, which means that the fundamental rights and freedoms of the Romani people involved were violated, reports Romovia.SME.sk.
Settlement residents believe the police raid was retaliation for a preceding incident during which some Romani people apparently damaged a police vehicle. During the June 2013 intervention, local residents say 20 police vehicles occupied the settlement and approximately 60 police officers wearing balaclavas broke into their homes, demolishing their fixtures and assaulting them.
"The police went from one house to the next, breaking in the doors, smashing up furniture and windows, and attacking individuals in a very aggressive way without ever communicating with them rationally. They caused injuries for which some of our clients had to seek medical treatment and we have medical reports of that treatment," news server iDNES.cz quoted Martin Vavrinčík of the ETP nonprofit organization, which runs a community center in the settlement, as saying immediately after the raid.
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