On 25 July 2023, at the Public Defender of Rights office, we participated in a round table on the topic of police violence against the Roma minority in Slovakia. This is an area that we have been working on for many years in Poradňa. Since 2009, we have provided legal assistance to many Roma men and women who have faced police violence and have advocated for the necessary systemic measures to prevent these cases, including the need to improve the independence and quality of their investigations.

We also provided legal assistance to two injured Roma men of the 2013 police raid in Moldava nad Bodvou, and the roundtable was prompted by its recent tenth anniversary.

At the event, we spoke about our findings from monitoring police violence in Roma communities, as well as the serious shortcomings in the investigation of these cases by the police inspectorate, which have also been pointed out in recent years by the European Court in Strasbourg in several judgments in favour of injured Roma, whom we have supported legally.

In addition to the Public Defender of Rights and his team, the roundtable was attended by several other NGOs, such as Amnesty International Slovakia, the European Roma Rights Centre, and activists working on this issue. Last but not least, we also discussed possible cooperation in terms of advocating the necessary measures towards the responsible state authorities in the future.

Photo credit: Office of the Public Defender of Rights