Why does it take so long to punish the racists that violate Romas’ human rights?

A footage which shocked Serbia showing a policeman maltreating a young Roma man was made on June30, 2007 at a police station in Vrsac. Although the competent bodies knew all details of that incident, "thanks" to hiding and putting the matter aside by the police and prosecution, people responsible have never been adequately sanctioned.

Why does it take so long to punish the racists that violate Romas’ human rights?

Yes because... No because...

Police have to be efficient

"... It was an inhuman act against people who should be protected and not beaten. Police have to be efficient and solve this case adequately", - Dragoljub Ackovic, European Roma Union.

No police force is perfect and while aiming for the ideal is worth accolades, the justice system and its enforcement will always have loopholes. This may just be an isolated case. While the conditions of this case are appalling, there is no indication that such behavior is ubiquitous or sanctioned.

Why does it take so long to punish the racists that violate Romas’ human rights?

Yes because... No because...

A step ahead...

Yes, justice should never be delayed. And these people should be brought to justice.
"On October 8, 2003, the Bačka Topola Municipal Court found Police Inspector Josip Fontanji and Officer Mirko Sivčević guilty of torturing Mr Stevan Brančić and Mr Saša Gojkov, Romani men, in May 2001. In a highly inadequate response to a finding of torture, the Court sentenced them to only eight months and three months in prison respectively, suspended for two years. On May 7, 2001, Inspector Fontanji and Officer Sivčević severely beat Mr Brančić and Mr Gojkov, aged 38 and 27 at the time, respectively, with truncheons for approximately four hours at the Bačka Topola Police Station (background information on the assault is available at: Police beat Roma in Yugoslavia."

The sentence is too light, because the officers tortured Roma and not Yugoslavs. This is not a step ahead, because what happened to the child rape victim was wrong and so is this. The child signed a document saying she cut herself, therefore did not press charges, in that particular case a child of any color, race or creed would not have gotten justice. The reasons for her not reporting on the gang rape can be varied from shame/indignity to unlawful coercion. However in this case, the victims of police torture, pressed charges, proved the officers were guilty in court and even then these officers were let off easy. This is an indication that the entire system is biased and unjust.

Elisabetta Vivaldi, civil society activist from Italy.

I am glad they are in prison and I hope that the judges throw the keys of their cage in the Sava river. This type of police officers put Serbia to shame. When I was in Belgrade last time attending school, I read of a young Romani girl in Zvezdara, a copy of that text is at the National Library. She, I am not going to write her name, was attacked by young guys with covered face and boots on the way back from school. Someone cut her chest and legs with a blade and I do not even know what else they have done to her. A school principal reported the accident to the police, for a matter of discipline and order outside his school, and the underage girl had to go in to be heard with her sister.In conclusion, it came out that there were no perpetrators because in the offcial documented verison she signed that she just cut herself! It was years ago...I am glad to hear that they make someone accountable. A step ahead...

Why does it take so long to punish the racists that violate Romas’ human rights?

Yes because... No because...

Police racism needs to be outlawed everywhere and punished

It will take a long time to root out racism from police forces, but it is for this reason that tough laws need to be in place.

"F., an eleven-year-old Roma boy, was taken to a Belgrade police station on 21 June on suspicion that he and his friends had stolen belongings from a number of automobiles. F. lives in a slum in Belgrade, has no documents and is among those members of the Roma community who do not
officially exist.

The officer who questioned him insisted that the boys return the property they had allegedly stolen and, when he did not receive the response he wanted, he physically abused F. by slapping him, beating him on the palms of the hands and back with a nightstick, and striking him
repeatedly on the head. F. was allowed to go two hours later, at the insistence of his mother.

The Humanitarian Law Center points out that police have an obligation treat minors with special care owing to their age. Both national law and international acts specifically prohibit physical punishment or any other treatment that could be detrimental to an individual's physical or
psychological wellbeing. The case of F. is especially concerning as the boy is only eleven and, under the law, cannot be held criminally responsible. " - [[http://groups.yahoo.com/group/balkanhr/message/2581]]

Simply placing laws will not insure their enforcement. The problems much deeper than the need for stringent discipline. Roma need to be aware of their rights. And police need tyo be aware of the consequences of stripping Roma of their rights. Awareness and retribution should be used to deliver justice for the Roma people. .

Why does it take so long to punish the racists that violate Romas’ human rights?

Yes because... No because...

measures to prevent police from coercing Roma into writing and signing false testaments must be enforced.

[[http://www.romabuzzmonitor.net/police-and-prosecution-tried-to-hide-torture-over-young-man-video/]]
"Mladen Kunbak, Chief-of-Staff of Police Administration says that the police knew about the case before it was posted on the Internet and that the investigation had been led.
The report on the case was forwarded to district public prosecution on October 27, 2008. The policemen kept their job because in the statements both they and the young man denied that what can be seen in the video footage’, Kunbak explained.

All alleged criminals must be accompanied by a lawyer and adequate unbiased security, so that they are not manipulated and coerced by the police to sign off on false testimonies.

All police stations must have cameras, so that the head of police is aware of the goings-on in prisons all over the country.
Who made this video? where did it come from?

"Criminal charges shall be raised against a police employee who made the footage for failing to report the incident. Stanko Beatovic, Professor at the Faculty of Law in Kragujevac says for ‘Blic’ that it is necessary that all individuals involved should be questioned again and that all proofs should be analyzed again.
At the Helsinki Board for human rights ‘Blic’ was told that it is good that the police have reacted quickly and suspended responsible individuals immediately.
Dragoljub Ackovic of the European Roma Union says that it was an inhuman act against people who should be protected and not beaten.
‘Police have to be efficient and solve this case adequately’, Ackovic says.
Police Minister Ivica Dacic yesterday said to have ordered suspension of two policemen involved in beating of young Roma.
‘This had happened before I became the Police Minister. I however do not understand why it took so long for the footage to appear in public’, Dacic said."

As soon as the video was made public measures were taken to serve justice. The case was reopened and the officers were suspended indefinitely from duty. [[http://www.romabuzzmonitor.net/police-and-prosecution-tried-to-hide-torture-over-young-man-video/]]

Debates > Why does it take so long to punish the racists that violate Romas' human rights?