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Roma in Hungary live in climate of fear, says AI 2010 report

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 13th of May 2011   Source: MTI


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Roma continued to face violent attacks and discrimination in Hungary and lived in a climate of fear last year, Amnesty International (AI) said in its annual human rights global report published on Friday morning.

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The world's largest human rights organisation said that in 2010 Hungarian NGOs reported further attacks against Roma people and international human rights monitoring bodies raised concerns over "structural shortcomings" of the Hungarian criminal justice system's response to hate crimes.

 

These shortcomings, AI noted, included a "lack of capacity" to recognise and investigate hate crimes, no specialised training or specific guidelines for police and investigators and no effective measures to "map the nature and scale" of the issue.

 

Several documented cases last year illustrated that law enforcement authorities often failed to recognise the racial motivation in crimes, AI added.

 

AI said that Hungarian NGOs also expressed concerns over a tendency to classify crimes as "common" crimes rather than hate crimes with a racially aggravated motive. As a result, reliable statistics were not publicly available on the real number of racially motivated crimes in the country. Hatred as an aggravated motive was also reportedly ignored in crimes against LGBT people or Jewish people.

 

Concerning the Roma the AI report said that the UN Human Rights Council raised concerns about their discrimination in education, housing, health care and political participation, noting also that Hungary's Supreme Court awarded compensation to victims of an anti-Roma school segregation for the first time.

 

It said that in September the Council of Europe's Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities expressed concerns about violent attacks against Roma people and noted that despite the arrests of the alleged perpetrators there was still "a climate of fear."

 

On politics AI noted that an "extreme right-wing political party" called Jobbik gained seats for the first time in Hungary's parliament in the spring elections.



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