EU’s Roma Feel Betrayed by Silence on Czech Killing

By Elena SÁNCHEZ NICOLÁS

Roma neighborhood members have called on EU leaders to speak up against the harsh death of Romani guy Stanislav Tomáš in the Czech Republic last month, offered its parallels with to the killing of George Floyd in the US.

Video footageof his arrest, which went viral on social media, shows a police officer kneeling on Stanislav’s chest and neck for around 5 minutes.

The Roma man later passed away in an ambulance contacted us to the scene.

His death has actually stimulated prevalent criticism against discrimination faced by Roma in the Czech Republic and elsewhere, setting off protests all over Europe, which will continue this week.

Members of the Roma neighborhood composed to EU leaders,consisting of European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, requiring “a clear stance against antigypsyism and violence” and asking them to “openly condemn all acts of police brutality against Roma residents”.

They was sorry for that while the murder of George Floydsparked a wave of outcry from EU authorities, “when it comes to its own residents dying in comparable situations, the EU has stayed quiet”.

“Though the violent cops intervention was reported commonly, there has been a deafening silence from EU leaders who have actually not stated a word against the harsh act,” cautioned Zeljko Jovanovic, director of Roma Initiatives Office,one of the organisations associated with the peaceful demonstrations.

“A totally free society is one without police brutality in which all people can feel safe and secured. Regretfully, we Roma do not feel safe in our own communities as long as we are threatened by police due to the colour of our skin, and the deeply-rooted prejudices, stereotypes and racism we face every day,” he included.

The NGOs are likewise getting in touch with the EU institutions to work out “firm action against authorities brutality … to ensure no other residents die at the hands of the authorities”.

Advocacy group Amnesty International argued that the neck-restraint technique used by Czech authorities was “negligent, unneeded, and disproportionate, and, therefore,, illegal”.

Czech officials, consisting of prime minister Andrej Babiš, have actually protected the police’s handling of a case.

In a statement, the authorities stated that the preliminary autopsy reports “dismissed a connection with the operation that preceded the arrest of the suspect,” declaring that a drug overdose was the primary cause of death.

As human rights activists began using the hashtag “#RomaLivesMatter” on social networks, police forces tweeted that “there is no ‘Czech Floyd'”.

On the other hand, the Strasburg-based Council of Europe has called for an “immediate, comprehensive, and independent investigation” into Stanislav’s death.

Romani are Europe’s largest ethnic minority– with around 6 million living in the EU.

euobserver.com

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