MINELRES: ERRC: Macedonian Roma Police Abuse Case Hearing at the European Court of Human Rights

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Wed Jan 25 17:31:34 2006


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


ERRC and Partners Testify at First Macedonian Roma Torture Case Heard at 
Strasbourg Court

Budapest, Strasbourg, Skopje, 20 January 2006. Yesterday, the ERRC 
participated in oral argument at the European Court of Human Rights in 
Strasbourg in the first case against Macedonia involving Article 3 of
the European Convention of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
Article 3 prohibits torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or
punishment.

On 16 April 1998, Mr. Pejrusan Jasar, a Macedonian national of Romani 
ethnic origin from Stip, was in a local bar where gambling took place.
One of the losing gamblers complained that the dice was fixed, drew a
firearm, and fired several gunshots. Several police officers were called
to the bar. Mr. Jasar maintains that police officers grabbed him by his
hair and forcibly placed him in a police van. He was then taken to a
local police station. During his detention in police custody, he was
kicked in the head, punched and beaten with a truncheon by a police
officer. The medical report taken right after Mr. Jasar was released the
next morning stated that he had sustained numerous injuries to his head,
hand and back.

In May 1998, Mr. Jasar, represented by local attorney Mr. Jordan 
Madzunarov, in cooperation with the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC),
filed a criminal complaint with the public prosecutor against an
unidentified police officer. More than seven and a half years later, no
steps were taken to investigate the complaint. Mr. Jasar also brought
civil proceedings for damages against the State. These were dismissed in
October 1999.

Having exhausted available domestic remedies, the ERRC filed a claim on
behalf of Mr. Jasar against the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on
1 February 2001. The fact that the Macedonian government failed to
explain in a satisfactory way the injuries of Mr. Jasar, and that his
criminal complaint was not followed by a thorough investigation,
constitute violations of Article 3 of the Convention, according to his
attorneys. The State's failure to investigate his complaint for more
than 7.5 years is a breach of his fundamental right to an effective
remedy, as guaranteed by Article 13 of the Convention. The case also
highlights the deficiencies of the Macedonian legal framework, which by
not providing effective remedy against the inactivity of the public
prosecutor, prevents the access to the investigatory procedure.

This case is one of the many similar incidents documented by ERRC and
local human rights organizations indicating the impunity of the police
in Macedonia, particularly where Roma are at issue.

The Civil Society Research Center based in Skopje and the Brussels-based
law firm of Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale and Dorr LLP provided
additional legal analysis supporting the allegations of Mr. Jasar.

For further information on the case, please contact
Dianne Post., ERRC's Legal Director 
(dianne.post@errc.org ; +36-1-413-2226) 
and/or
Anita Danka, Staff Attorney 
(anita.danka@errc.org; +36-1-413-2221).

_____________________________________________

The European Roma Rights Centre 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 Centre, visit the ERRC on the web at
http://www.errc.org.

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

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

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