And we want to get into Europe?

Author: Jan Horváth, Sr.
Location: Studenka
On April 23 a Romany boy was walking down a street in the little town of Bílovec, not far from Ostrava. A police car stopped, the policemen slapped and kicked the boy, and threw him into the car. Only when they got to the police station did they explain why he had been arrested. They claimed that he had committed a theft. And they slapped and kicked him at the station too.
When the boy’s parents came to the station, they raised holy hell: there was a lot of swearing. And they took their son to be examined by a doctor.
I found out about all this when I came to Bílovec the following day. I got the committee of our organization together, and we went to the police chief to demand an explanation. He promised us that the matter would be taken care of within ten days.
Nothing happened. On the contrary, the family of the boy who had been attacked was further terrorized. The police wanted them to withdraw their complaint and to say that their son had caused his own injuries.
But the regional press found out about the case, and after a few days an article came out about the policeman’s bad behavior.
It was only thanks to this article that the superiors of the policeman who was mentioned sent the matter to the regional command for re-investigation. Right now the matter is at the stage of taking evidence and statements from all the interested members of our Romany organization.
We have discovered that this was not the first time that this policemen beat a young Rom. He takes his energy out on young people: evidently he harasses them.
I have also informed the Czech Helsinki Committee in Prague and the European Roma Rights Center about the matter. It is not normal for a representative of the state official to behave this way. It’s not acceptable that he physically attack people, whether they have committed a crime or not. That’s what the laws and the courts are for: to establish the guilt or innocence of this or that person.
We’ll see how it all turns out. We are requesting that the policeman be punished and removed. I don’t know if justice will prevail in this case.
Our region is one of the "red” ones, where nothing has changed except stores and prices. Exactly the same people as during totalitarianism are sitting in the government offices. What’s more, Yhey have been promoted. They work in high positions, and think they’re there to harass and discriminate against people of a different skin color – ten years after the so-called “Velvet Revolution.”
And we – the Czech Republic – want to get into Europe with this kind of thing still going on? I don’t know.

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