ECHR rules against Hungarian state in case of police abuse of Roma man

October 31, 2017

ECHR rules against Hungarian state in case of police abuse of Roma man
Photo: Council of Europe

The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has ruled against the Hungarian state in the case of a Roma man who was allegedly severely beaten in 2010 by police who then attempted to cover it up, reports.

According to the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (TASZ) which represented the man at the ECHR:

  • The man spent 12 hours in forced interrogation at a police station while police tried to get him to confess to a crime;
  • Six police and two security guards beat and humiliated him, allegedly saying, “We don’t care if you die, at least there will be one less Gypsy”;
  • Several hours after leaving the police station, the man went to the hospital where it was found he had sustained injuries to his skull, nose, shoulder, hips, arms, hands and thighs.

The man reported the abuse and an investigation was launched, but was then suspended by the prosecutor’s office which argued that it could not be proven without a doubt that the accused had in fact committed the crime. The man then turned to TASZ, which helped him launch his complaint of torture, inhumane and degrading treatment, and discrimination at the ECHR.

According to head of legal organization Egyenlőségprojekt (Equality Project) Eszter Jovánovics, the ECHR decision “found that the government was unable to deny during the investigation that the victim’s injuries had not occurred while in police custody. Furthermore, according to the Strasbourg court, the investigation by Hungarian authorities was not effective and did not examine whether the abuse had racist intent.”