Slovak MEP and Govt Plenipotentiary for Romani Communities file crime report over assault on Romani children in Krompachy
MEP Peter Pollák and the Slovak Government Plenipotentiary for Romani Communities Andrea Bučková have filed a crime report in association with the beating of Romani children in a Romani settlement in Krompachy last week. Both announced so through Facebook when they announced the quarantine in Krompachy has been lifted.
Bučková sharply criticized the actions of the police officer who is said to have beaten the children with a truncheon. "This is an unacceptable, unjustifiable act, which is why I have filed a criminal report with the Office of the Inspection Services and the Prosecutor-General of the Slovak Republic is aware of it," she said.
The MEP issued a similar statement. "I believe the incident that transpired on Monday will be fairly investigated. If this act was committed by him, then I believe the police officer involved will actually be punished," the MEP said when announcing the filing of the crime report.
In a Romani settlement in Krompachy, which was under quarantine at the time, the officer is said to have beaten five young children with his truncheon on Monday, 27 April. According to the children's testimony, he is even said to have threatened to shoot them.
The reason he did so was said to have been that the children were collecting wood and playing outside the quarantine zone. The incident was condemned by Slovak Public Defender of Rights Mária Patakyová, who said she would be investigating.
"Any disproportionate methods used by police or excessive use of force deserves to be condemned," the ombudswoman said. "I consider it unacceptable that violence be committed against children. Moreover, it is unacceptable for police to use force against children. Not even the pandemic can be a reason to use disproportionate policing methods. The information published in the media is exceptionally serious and for that reason I will be investigating this incident," she said, adding that she wants to take a comprehensive look at the issue of the quarantined settlements.
Slovak Interior Minister Romani Mikulce and the Slovak Commissioner for Children, Viera Tomanová, have both asked for a thorough investigation of the incident. The TASR wire service said it had been informed of that statements by Emília Kršíková, director of the Office of the Commissioner for Children.
"The Commissioner for Children is emphasizing that it is unacceptable to use either physical or psychological violence against children for any reason," the director said, assuring the wire service that the Office of the Commissioner for Children is also investigating the events. Police President Milan Lučanský and Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová have both called for a thorough investigation of the incident.
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