'Death Brigade' Killing Roma In Hungary, police

Saturday, February 28, 2009 | Tag Cloud

Stefan J. Bos, Worthy News Europe Bureau Chief reporting from Budapest

roma
Remembering Roma. Several Roma have been killed in Hungary

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY (Worthy News)-- Hungarian authorities say a death brigade may have been responsible for several deadly attacks against Hungarian Gypsies, also known as Roma, Worthy News learned Saturday, February 28.  The revelations came just days after a father and his young son were shot and killed as they tried to escape from their burning home in a village near Budapest.

In the snow, investigators found blood and parts of the petrol bomb that caused Monday's fire in Tatarszentgyorgy village, about 65 kilometers south east of Budapest.  The head of the local police's criminal department, Peter Papp, said 27-year old Robert Csorba and son of five were apparently shot dead as they tried to escape their house, which had been set on fire. Two other children, three and six, were seriously injured in the blaze, villagers claimed.

Papp said his team is continuing its investigations. "But one thing is clear, we know now that the autopsy has shown that the father and his young son suffered a violent death," he explained. The incident is the latest in a series of attacks on Roma houses in which some seven people have died over the past year.

The National Investigation Office, Hungary's equivalant of the F-B-I, has revealed that the violence may have been carried out by a death brigade targeting Roma. "Evidence discovered so far suggests that we are dealing with a series of crimes," said the National Investigation Office Director Attila Petofi. "It appears that the perpatrators are from the same circle of criminals."

NO SURPRISE

For the residents of the village of Tatarszengyorgy Monday's hate crime didn't came as a surprise.  They recalled that the far right paramilitary group Magyar Garda, or Hungarian Guard, has been marching through the village, intimidating the Roma population. Video footage, seen by BosNewsLife, showed angry young man dressed in uniforms and carrying a flag resembling the one use by Hungarians during the Nazi-era. They protested against what they called  "Gypsy crime."

While Magyar Garda has denied involvement in criminal activities, a court has banned
the group, saying it had created an anti-Roma atmosphere. However its activists plan to continue anyway, but in a downgraded form.

There are concerns that extremism towards Roma will increase at a time when far
right groups seek scapegoats for Hungary's economic crisis. Tensions have also increased following the murder of international Romanian handball player Marian Cozma in a nightclub in Hungary, which was linked to Roma.

The police chief in Pest country,  Sandor Armos, has also admitted that staff members have been reluctant to investigate this week’s Roma murders.

"THOROUGH SEARCH"

He said officers would face disciplinary procedures for the mistakes they made. Officers even failed to "conduct a thorough search for hot clues around the murder scene," he explained. "They even passed by the bullets fired from the murder weapon which were later discovered just a few meters from the house."

However police also announced the arrest of a suspect in an attack last year on a Roma home in the city of Pecs in which the parents were killed.

Hungary's Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany has called for an investigation into police action towards Roma and pledged to step up police patrols in volatile areas. Some seven people were killed in anti-Roma violence in the past year.

Jewish and Roma groups have also urged him to help ensure Hungary will see better anti-hate speech legislation to protect Hungary's up to 800.000 Roma population.

Copyright 1999-2017 Worthy News. All rights reserved.
Fair Use Notice:This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

1 thought on “'Death Brigade' Killing Roma In Hungary, police

Leave a Comment