In September 2020 the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg decided on police violence against two Romani men from Moldava nad Bodvou they faced during police raid in 2013 in a local Roma marginalised community in Eastern Slovakia. The court ruled that Slovak state authorities violated both their right to protection from police violence and their right to its effective investigation. However, in Slovak courts they both have been facing criminal charges of false accusations against police officers who have committed violence against them.        

At today’s hearing, the District Court Košice finally discontinued criminal proceedings against one of these men. It did so after the district prosecutor dropped the charges against him. 

The Center for Civil and Human Rights (Poradna) – human rights grassroot NGO – has long time provided free legal assistance to the affected man in respect to the police violence against him. A few weeks after the police raid in 2013 our lawyer filed in his name a criminal complaint and represented him in criminal proceedings conducted by Slovak police inspection, before the Slovak Constitutional Court and also before the European Court of Human Rights.   

In this regard, we welcome today’s decision of the Košice court.

Vanda Durbákova – a lawyer cooperating with Poradna, who successfully represented the affected man before the European Court in Strasbourg – commented:   

“As a matter of fact, my ex-client should have never stood in front of the criminal court in this case. Criminal proceedings for false accusation against him had no justification. I am very glad that they have been discontinued after years. I believe that the judgment of the European Court, that we achieved, largely contributed to the reversal in criminal proceedings in his case. I hope that people who decide to stand up for their rights in the future in Slovakia will no longer have to face the fear that they will eventually find themselves in criminal court as accused. The Slovak authorities have to ensure that such injustice never happens again to anyone in this country.”    

The press release in PDF is available here.

We would like to thank you Open Society Foundations, Sigrid Rausing Trust and other donors that supported our work on this case of police violence over years.