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January 22, 2018
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Slovakia

Slovak Police allegedly beat up several Romani residents of the municipality of Vrbnica, Michalovce District, on 2 April 2015, such as this man. (PHOTO:  TV ROMED, collage by Romea.cz)
Slovak Police allegedly beat up several Romani residents of the municipality of Vrbnica, Michalovce District, on 2 April 2015, such as this man. (PHOTO: TV ROMED, collage by Romea.cz)

Slovak anti-Romani law protested by Amnesty International, Justice Minister and Plenipotentiary for Roma Affairs

17.1.2018 19:37 Amnesty International Slovakia is criticizing proposed measures for combating so-called "Romani crime" which were presented last week by Slovak Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák (Smer) and Police President Tibor Gašpar. According to AI, the measures are aimed against ethnic Roma as a group and violated international and national legal regulations about discrimination and equal opportunity, which means they are illegal.  full story

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Hungary: Romani duo from Slovakia win the "X Factor" music competition

1.12.2017 6:57 The Romani singing duo Claudia and Ricco, who are originally from Slovakia, have won the "X Factor" music competition in Hungary. The magnificent finale to the famous television show was broadcast Saturday.  full story

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Slovak Police say shooting incident not racially motivated, gunmen wanted sex and didn't get it

18.10.2017 10:44 Slovak media are reporting that the shooting incident involving three men firing a submachine gun at the home of a Romani family in the Varguľa settlement in the town of Pohronská Polhora apparently had neither an extremist nor a racist subtext. According to the Banská Bystrica Regional Police Director, Štefan Šurek, the assailants were drunk and drove to the settlement because they wanted sex with local Romani women.  full story

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Slovakia: Five machine gun bullets fired into home of Romani family, suspects in custody

12.10.2017 8:21 Media in Slovakia reported on 11 October that gunmen fired up to five bullets, probably using a machine gun, into the single-family home of a Romani family with young children in the town of Pohronská Polhora. Police are staying silent for the time being about the shocking case.

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Slovak Police charge politician with extremism

30.7.2017 6:00 News server Plus JEDEN DEŇ reported on 28 July that police in Slovakia have charged Marian Kotleba, the head of the ultra-right party "Kotleba-People's Party Our Slovakia" (LSNS), with extremism. In March he gave a socially vulnerable family a check for EUR 1 488, which is a number with a neo-Nazi code meaning.  full story

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Slovakia: Nominations begin for Roma Spirit 2017 under auspices of President Kiska

28.7.2017 17:23 Nominations have begun for the prestigious ninth annual Roma Spirit awards in Slovakia, which highlight extraordinary deeds and efforts by specific individuals and organizations to improve the life and position of Romani people there. The award is administered by the Association for Culture, Education and Communications (ACEC), Slovak Radio and Television, and the Office of the Government Plenipotentiary for the Roma Community.  full story

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Belgian edition of TV competition "The Voice" won by 13-year-old Romani girl from Slovakia

30.6.2017 7:50 The most recent season of the Belgian branch of the music show "The Voice Kids 2017" has been won by 13-year-old Katarina Pohlodková, whose parents are originally from Slovakia. She fought her way through to the final round with the song "She Believes in Me", originally performed by the Belgian singer André Hazes, which was a mega-hit as "Empire State of Mind" by Alicia Keys.  full story

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Christian Democrat chair says Czech Republic should have taken in 10 refugees more to avoid European Commission censure

28.6.2017 11:53 According to the chair of the Czech Christian Democrats (KDU-ČSL) the Czech Republic should have received 10 more refugees in order to avoid arguing with the European
Commission. Pavel Bělobrádek made his remarks to journalists after the party's statewide conference last week.  full story

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Slovakia: Three skinheads assault Romani mother and her children with racist abuse

20.6.2017 15:02 News server Novinky.sk reported yesterday that a young Romani mother named Naděžda was targeted for attack in the Slovak village of Snina by three aggressive men who looked like skinheads. Just before 8 PM the men broke into her home, where she was alone with her children, the youngest of whom is a two-week-old infant.  full story

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Commentary: The value of life in Central Europe depends on skin color

17.6.2017 11:12 The feeling that anything at all can be done to Romani people with impunity has long been sustained in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and other countries of our region by the approach taken by state bodies and institutions. The recent news from Zborov is not the first time that Slovak Police officers have raided a Romani settlement and committed groundless violence there, but this time there is evidence of their behavior in the form of video footage.
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Czech Republic: Romani law student from Slovakia says feeling her teachers cared about her future was a big help to her

9.6.2017 9:40 Since January, news server Romea.cz has been publishing interviews with people making a contribution to interethnic coexistence under the series title "Together We Can". Since May these interviews have begun to feature questions about some words that frequently seem to be losing their meaning because their definitions are no longer agreed on here - terms such as "Czech", "gadjo", "Rom", etc.  full story

Slovak mayor aids Romani settlement and his village by resolving illegal construction situation

8.6.2017 14:17 Michal Didik, Mayor of Čirč, a community in eastern Slovakia, has recently aided the Romani settlement there, the residents of which have illegally built their homes on land belonging to others. "It was clearer to me than anything else under the sun that the Romani residents would never be buying the land beneath their houses. At the land registry office I ascertained who exactly owns the land beneath the settlement. I was startled by the big number of individual owners - one hectare is owned by as many as 150 people. I personally found each of them and asked them to donate their land to the municipality," Didik told news server novinky.cz.  full story

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Slovakia: Romani band Sendreiovci perform at concert of Hollywood composer Hans Zimmer

8.6.2017 13:19 On 2 June the Sendreiovci Romani band performed at the Bratislava concert of the famous Hollywood composer of film scores, Hans Zimmer, one year after performing at his afterparty. "Yesterday we played for the Czech Prime Minister in the Tatras and today we're here," Vlado Sendrei told the Slovak news server dennikn.sk.  full story

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Slovakia: Romani residents of Zborov give testimony about police brutality

1.6.2017 7:03 On Wednesday, 24 May, video footage of the disproportionate police intervention against the Romani residents of Zborov, Slovakia, made the rounds of the online social
networking sites. The intervention happened on 16 April, when police were called to the scene of a brawl.  full story

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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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Slovakia: Romani youth successfully fundraises online for study trip to Japan

26.5.2017 9:47 Crowdsourcing to fund various activities these days are making many dreams come true. A 17-year-old Romani student from Slovakia was recently convinced of that when his successful collection online aided him in taking his dream trip across the ocean.  full story

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