Civil society members of the Czech Govt Roma Council ask Interior Minister to prioritize the thorough investigation of the death of a Romani man after a police intervention
The civil society members of the Czech Government Council for Romani Minority Affairs are asking Czech Interior Minister Jan Hamáček to prioritize the case of a Romani man who died in Teplice. On Saturday the man died after police intervened against him.
On the basis of the initial findings of a court-ordered autopsy, police have ruled out the idea that the man's death is related to the intervention, but the civil society members are asking that the matter be thoroughly investigated. News server Romea.cz is publishing their statement in full translation.
Statement by the civil society members of the Czech Government Council for Romani Minority Affairs on the police intervention and death in Teplice
We, the civil society members of the Czech Government Council for Romani Minority Affairs, are demanding a thorough investigation of the death of the Romani man in Teplice on Saturday, 19 June 2021.
We seek this on the basis of the video footage of the police intervention, filmed with a mobile phone, and because the person who was involved died in the ambulance after the intervention. The immediate statement by police that he died as a consequence of a drug overdose and not the police intervention means we need more information, above all the final results of the autopsy ordered by the court.
The obvious similarity between this case and the death of the African-American George Floyd after a police intervention in the USA in June 2020 using very similar techniques raises a subject of basic interest to all of society about whether police are using force proportionately during their interventions. We condemn all violence, including police brutality.
We are calling on Czech Interior Minister Jan Hamáček to pay special attention to this case and we will be initiating a meeting with Police President Jan Švejdar.
For the bereaved relatives of the deceased and for the public it is important, for both moral and psychological reasons, to clarify the circumstances of this death, especially when grounds exist to question its cause, as can be seen from the fact that an autopsy was ordered. In this matter, we consider the statement by the police spokesperson who definitively initially ruled out the association of this death with the police intervention prior to the autopsy results being known to have been unacceptable. The police and their representatives should be aware that in a case where the cause of death has yet to be determined by an autopsy, it should never be possible to inform the public that it has already been ruled out that the death resulted from the police intervention. By proceeding in this way, the police have increased our fears that the autopsy that was ordered may not have been impartially conducted. For that reason the Council will be asking questions of the relevant authorities as to whether the use of force was, in this case, proportionate to the aims for which it was used, as well as about all other circumstances of the case, especially the length of time of the intervention, its physical consequences for the victim, the state of health of the victim, and whether the officers complied with their legal obligation to protect the victim's health and life.
Civil society members of the Czech Government Council for Romani Minority Affairs:
Bc. Zdeněk Guži
Mgr. Jan Husák
Alena Drbohlavová Gronzíková
Mgr. Alica Sigmund Heráková
Bc. Tomáš Ščuka
Bc. Gwendolyn Albert
Ing. Vladimír Čermák
Iveta Theuserová, DiS.
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