MINELRES: Slovakia: Roma Rights Advocates Win Compensation for Victim of Racist Killing

MINELRES moderator minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Wed Feb 9 21:53:08 2005

Original sender: European Roma Rights Center <errc@errc.org>

European Roma Rights Center and Local Counsel Secure Slovakia's
First-Ever Award of Moral Damages in Racist Killing

Budapest, Bratislava, 7 February 2005.  In a ruling communicated this
week, on 19 January 2005, the Regional Court in Banska Bystrica
delivered a binding final decision, awarding for the first time in
Slovak judicial history compensation for moral suffering to the
next-of-kin of a victim of racially motivated crime.

The case involves the 1995 killing by skinheads of a 17-year-old Romani
youth named Mario Goral, in the town of Ziar nad Hronom.  On 21 July
1995, Mr. Goral was chased through the streets of the town by a group of
skinheads, stabbed with knives, beaten to a state of unconsciousness,
doused in a flammable substance, and then set on fire. He suffered
second and third degree burns over 63% of his body and died in hospital
ten days later, on July 31. Although at least seventeen persons were
initially charged by police in connection with the killing, only two
persons were ultimately convicted.

The ERRC has been involved in the case since the organisation was
founded in 1996. This and similar crimes were at the center of advocacy
efforts for justice in the matter of systemic racist violence against
Roma in Slovakia, such as the ERRC's 1996 Country Report Time of the
Skinheads: Denial and Exclusion of Roma in Slovakia.

As part of efforts to seek due remedy for the family of Mario Goral, in
1998 the ERRC supported local counsel Dr. Bohumir Blaha in filing a
civil action seeking financial compensation for mental anguish suffered
by the victim and his mother. In September 1998, the ERRC filed an
informal amicus curiae brief, as a supplement to the action of the
mother's lawyer. The brief provided international and comparative legal
authority with respect to the claim for non-pecuniary damages raised in
the submission of Dr. Blaha. The ERRC argued that Mrs. Nadezda Borosova,
Mario Goral's mother, was due two separate and independent sets of moral
damage arising from the murder of her son. In January the Regional Court
in Banska Bystrica agreed, and awarded Mrs. Borosova 300,000 Slovak
Crowns (approximately  7,800 Euro) compensation.

The ERRC welcomes the decision as crucial in efforts to check racially
motivated violence in Slovakia and to bring justice to its many victims.
The ERRC remains involved in a number of similar cases, including the
2000 killing by skinheads of Mrs. Anastazia Balazova
(http://www.errc.org/cikk.php?cikk=1049&archiv=1) and the July 2001
beating death by police officers of Mr Karol Sendrei

A summary of ERRC concerns with respect to the human rights situation of
Roma in Slovakia is available in English and Slovak at:

For further information on the Mario Goral case, please contact Andi
Dobrushi, ERRC Staff Attorney: Andi@errc.org, Tel: +36 1 413 2200, Fax:
+36 1 413 2201


The European Roma Rights Center is an international public interest law
organisation which monitors the rights of Roma and provides legal
defence in cases of human rights abuse. For more information about the
European Roma Rights Center, visit the ERRC on the web at

European Roma Rights Center
1386 Budapest 62
P.O. Box 906/93

Phone: +36 1 4132200
Fax:   +36 1 4132201



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