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May 30, 2020
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Slovak MEP from Romani community strongly condemns police beating of Romani children in quarantined settlement as unacceptable

29.4.2020 13:58
Slovak MEP and Romani community member Peter Pollák (left) and a photograph of the injuries suffered by a little Romani girl who was one of the five children beatne by a police officer on 27 April 2020 in Krompachy, Slovakia (right). (Collage:  Romea.cz)
Slovak MEP and Romani community member Peter Pollák (left) and a photograph of the injuries suffered by a little Romani girl who was one of the five children beatne by a police officer on 27 April 2020 in Krompachy, Slovakia (right). (Collage: Romea.cz)

MEP Peter Pollák, a Romani community member on the Crisis Team created by the Slovak Government to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, has strongly condemned an attack committed Monday by a police officer in Krompachy who is said to have used a truncheon to beat five young children from a quarantined settlement. According to the children's testimony, the officer threatened to shoot them as well.

The reason he used force, allegedly, was that the children were collecting wood and playing outside of the quarantine zone. "Attacking children is unacceptable," the MEP said in a video posted to Facebook.

"Yesterday I filed a motion with the Interior Ministry Inspection Authority to investigate this brutal beating by police officers who were striking defenseless children in Krompachy under quarantine. It is absurd for anybody in uniform to even raise their hand to children," the MEP said.

"This is unprofessional and what's more, it's illegal. If this was done by a police officer, he must atone for it," the MEP said.

Slovak MP Jarmila Vaňová, also from the Romani community and with the governing OĽANO party, condemned the attack on the Romani children yesterday. The incident is the third controversial intervention by police against Romani people to have been reported so far during the COVID-19 pandemic in Slovakia.

The previous cases involved police officers intervening with force against adult Roma - for example, over the Roman Catholic Easter weekend, the officers used force against Romani people in Bardějov. The reason was said to be that a Romani man was not wearing a face mask in public.

The MEP also filed a motion with the Interior Ministry Inspection Authority over that incident as well. In mid-April video footage was posted to social media of police officers intervening with force against a Romani man for not wearing a face mask in Bánovce nad Bebravou, Slovakia.

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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COVID-19, Peter Pollák, Police, Slovakia



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