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May 22, 2018
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Irena Biháriová (PHOTO: Progresivní Slovensko)
Irena Biháriová (PHOTO: Progresivní Slovensko)

Irena Biháriová: Comprehending the matrix of a Romani settlement in Slovakia is not easy

8.5.2018 16:27 Before I visit a Romani settlement, I always tell myself that being confronted by the poverty cannot startle me anymore. I have seen so much over the years that it will be possible for me to maintain my professional distance.
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Slovakia: Second Romani schoolchild dies after February car accident

23.3.2018 15:26 A tragic car accident that happened in February near Poprad, Slovakia in the village of Spišské Bystré has now claimed its second victim at the hospital in Martin. One week after the accident a 12-year-old girl named Vanesa succumbed to her injuries there, and now her 14-year-old sister Alžběta has succumbed to her own injuries as well.  full story

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Slovak President Kiska discusses Romani settlements and Interior Ministry's plans for repression

31.1.2018 6:53 Slovak President Andrej Kiska organized a public panel discussion on the subject of including Romani people into society on Thursday, 26 January at the Evangelical College in Prešov that aimed to point out that verified solutions exist to some of the most essential problems in this area. The discussion also aimed to describe the genesis of the current state of affairs in connection with the planned repressive measures to be undertaken by police.  full story

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Mário Bihári and Bachtale Apsa launch new video Saturday with concert in Prague

30.11.2017 10:24 On 2 December the Dlabačov cinema in Prague's Břevnov quarter will host the only concert this winter by Romani musician Mário Bihári and his band, Bachtale Apsa. As part of a special program of guest performers (such as Nicholas Arthofer on trumpet), the band will launch a video they filmed thanks to their friends from the "Unexcused Theater" ensemble (Neomluvené divadlo).  full story

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videoSlovakia: Romani residents of Zborov tell Romea.cz that police beat children, pregnant women, threatened retribution if video released

12.6.2017 8:16 News server Romea.cz has visited the settlement of Zborov, Slovakia to investigate how police officers there performed a recent intervention against its Romani residents. On 16 April, officers were filmed using their batons to assault young children and others there.
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Slovak Police President defends intervention against Roma, says batons were brandished but nobody was struck

29.5.2017 10:19 The President of the Police Corps of the Slovak Republic, Tibor Gašpar, gave a press conference on 25 May about the recent police intervention in Zborov and, contradicting his first statements about the video of the incident, said the only behavior he now assessed as disproportionate was when an officer pushed an older woman who then fell to the ground. The Police President said he believed the officers had had no choice but to behave as they did and that they used their batons just to threaten people, not to actually strike them.  full story

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Slovak Interior Minister, Police President agree filmed intervention against Romani residents must be investigated

29.5.2017 8:42 Speaking on 25 May, Slovak Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák said he did not yet want to assess the intervention undertaken by police officers in Zborov recently during which they were filmed assaulting young children. The minister explained that there is no video footage available capturing the conflict among the Romani people there prior to the police arriving at the scene because officers forced some eyewitnesses to their intervention to erase the video footage from their mobile phones. The Interior Minister said he considers the only correct step to be for the Police Inspectorate to investigate the incident, which Slovak Police President Tibor Gašpar said would begin immediately. "I have no opinion because half of the video is missing," the Interior Minister told the Slovak press.  full story

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videoSlovakia: Romani politician says if video of police brutality did not exist, authorities would probably have never investigated

28.5.2017 13:19 Peter Pollák, the former Rapporteur to the Government of the Slovak Republic on the Romani Community, said at a press conference on 25 May broadcast through his Facebook page that it is essential that video cameras be made part of police officers' uniforms in order to assess whether officers have used force without grounds. The Romani politician said that four years after promises by Slovak Police Director Tibor Gašpar and Slovak Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák to introduce such video cameras, it has still not happened.  full story

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Slovak President Kiska visits anti-extremist event and Romani settlement on the same day

28.5.2017 12:12 "The failure to resolve Romani issues means it's smooth sailing for extremism, and that is the worst thing that can happen," Slovak President Andrej Kiska said according to news server aktuálně.atlas.sk during a visit to Spišské Podhradí on 22 May where, besides meeting with the town leadership, he also met with staffers of the education center Nano Nagle, which aids Romani children, and visited a Romani settlement in Roškovce. "Modern Slovakia is almost 25 years old and during that time we have not done enough about Romani issues."  full story

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Slovak Rapporteur for Roma on police brutality in Zborov: The intervention was inadequate

27.5.2017 19:00 Ábel Ravasz, the Rapporteur to the Government of the Slovak Republic on the Romani Community, issued a statement on 25 May about the brutal police intervention in Zborov last month. Among other matters, he said "police officer interventions at the scene of the conflict were inadequate and targeted children and elderly people"; news server Romea.cz is publishing his statement below in full translation.
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Are dogs being abused in Romani settlements in Slovakia? Romea.cz asks the authorities and experts

9.3.2017 14:06 A group called the Animal Rights Association (Sdružení za práva zvířat) in Bratislava, Slovakia, recently posted information to the Facebook profile of its "Czechoslovak Spay-and-Neuter Program" about its activity in Romani settlements there. The association is doing its best to aid dogs who, as they have documented through photographs, are frequently to be found in an underfed state in those localities.  full story

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Stano Daniel: We need to rescue dogs from Slovakia's settlements but not humans?

23.2.2017 9:48 A stereotypical image of a Romani settlement is that many dogs live there. There are known cases of doctors, postal workers or social workers being afraid to visit the settlements because of the dogs.  full story

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Slovak TV program focuses on Romani girl who studies despite living without electricity

23.2.2017 7:26 The most recent episode of the Slovak program "Seventh Heaven" (Sedmé nebe), which is broadcast by the JOJ television channel, focuses on a 13-year-old Romani girl
named Anna Mária who lives in a settlement in eastern Slovakia. Despite the difficulties of living her life in poverty, without electricity or gas, she is working hard on herself and learning four foreign languages.  full story

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Slovakia: More than 50 children from socially deprived families institutionalized since year began

19.1.2017 8:49 Since the beginning of this year audits have been underway of the living conditions in socially vulnerable families in Slovakia during the persistently cold weather, with social workers visiting thousands of families around the country and institutionalizing 56 children as of 17 January. "The consequence of our visits is that we discovered cases in which we had to remove the children. In some cases, our colleagues had to call ambulances for them," said the head of the Slovak Headquarters for Labor, Social Affairs and the Family, Marián Valentovič.
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Slovak President says education is the way to address Romani issues

7.12.2016 7:49 President of the Slovak Republic Andrej Kiska visited the Podskalka Primary School near the town of Humenné two weeks ago. "We're all aware that the Romani issue, how to best include Romani people in everyday life, is a question of education," news server aktualne.sk quoted him as saying.
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Russia: Mass demolition of homes in one of the biggest Romani settlements

18.6.2016 9:24 The situation in the municipality of Plechanovo, one of the biggest Romani settlements in Russia, where mass street fighting occurred several weeks ago between local residents and police over efforts by the gas utility to cut Romani residents off from the gas lines, has deteriorated further. Starting in the first week of June, the illegal constructions in which local Romani people are living have been demolished.  full story

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Slovakia: Three children burn to death in Romani settlement

25.1.2016 18:18 Three children died around in the early morning hours of Sunday in the Romani settlement in the municipality of Lomnička (Stará Ľubovňa district) in eastern Slovakia. A two-year-old boy, four-year-old boy and five-year-old girl tragically burned to death.  full story

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videoHighest-paid Hungarian footballer of all time is Romani

14.1.2016 19:50 What has been suspected for several days has now been officially confirmed. Hungarian footballer Norbert Balogh will continue his career as a player in the highest Italian competition, the A Series, as a member of Palermo.  full story

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Slovakia: Blaze in Romani settlement deprives 70 people of housing

3.4.2015 23:54 A fire broke out on Monday, 30 March in a Romani settlement in the municipality of Malcov, Bardějov district in Slovakia. A total of 15 cabins were burned to the ground and approximately 70 people were made homeless, 30 of them children; no one was injured.  full story

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International Romani charity says helping others is a joy

27.1.2015 22:08, (ROMEA) A Czech Romani man and a Slovak Romani man have established a small charity organization abroad and begun aiding impoverished Romani children. They have delivered a first installment of aid to Romani settlements in Slovakia and are planning to deliver more in future.  full story

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