Radio Free Europe: Several thousand Roma refugees from Ukraine fled to Hungary, but not from poverty

After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, millions of citizens fled to European Union (EU) countries, including thousands of Roma in the country, where they were offered residence and residence and work permits under the EU Temporary Protection Directive.

Roma from Transcarpathia, however, were not treated the same. Despite Ukraine's ban on dual citizenship, many Roma from the region also hold Hungarian passports and identity documents and therefore did not qualify for EU temporary protection, meaning many of them ended up in collective centres.

However, a year later, thanks in part to Hungarian NGOs, many Roma from Transcarpathia are rebuilding their lives and finding a new home in Hungary.

According to the 2021 census, up to 150,000 ethnic Hungarians and tens of thousands of Roma live in Transcarpathia. As the poorest and most vulnerable group, the exact number of Hungarian Roma is unknown, but experts estimate that there are around 30,000-40,000 of them.

According to the largest Roma organization in Hungary, Romaversitas, the majority of Roma in Transcarpathia speak Hungarian as their main language, not Romani, Ukrainian or Russian. Many live in poverty, in segregated, fenced villages, and about one third live without running water, heating and electricity.

There are few jobs for Roma in Transcarpathia. According to estimates by Ukrainian non-governmental organizations, only 38 percent of the Roma population was employed, and due to the lack of local opportunities, many men from the region were already working in Hungary before the war.

However, this did not prepare them and their families for the conditions that many encountered in Hungary. "Refugees have arrived in a very broken system," said Lilla Eredics, spokeswoman for Romaversitas. "And Transcarpathian Roma are in an extremely vulnerable situation."

Excluding refugees, 876,000 Roma live in Hungary, which makes up almost nine percent of the population, the largest minority according to a 2018 study. Living in the region since the 15th century, the Roma mostly live in rural areas, especially in the poorer northeast and southwest. A large part of them is uneducated and unemployed, and many live in poverty.


"Fascist, fascist!" Roma Luma political party counterprotests anti-Government demonstration in Czech Republic

A small group of Romani people who are followers and members of the Roma Luma political party have counter-protested an anti-Government demonstration convened by the "Freedom and Direct Democracy" (SPD) party in Liberec, Czech Republic. Ahead of the demonstration, six pink pigs labeled "SPD" were installed in a nearby park to "welcome" those attending.

SPD chair Tomio Okamura had to contend with an unfavorable atmosphere when he was called to the podium. The followers and members of Roma Luma, equipped with plastic whistles, expressed their disagreement and chanted “Fascist, fascist!”

Okamura was upset by the unpleasant moment but subsequently did his best to improvise and speak with the counter-protesters. “This is ridiculous. People have laughed at me my whole life for having slanted eyes. You’re absolutely out of it,” Okamura responded, adding that the Romani counter-protesters should behave decently.

“We have several Romani members in the SPD,” Okamura continued in his effort to silence the counter-protesters. A Romani counter-protester responded with “They’re sellouts, you paid them.”


Serbia, Vrbas: A Roma girl who is a high school senior, her peers humiliated her, Seka Aleksic acted like a lion, he will personally accompany her to the high school graduation celebration

A student of Romani nationality who is in the eighth grade at "Petar Petrović - Njegoš" OU in Vrbas has been humiliated by her peers from that school for months just because she is Romani. Her classmates also "gave her a copper wire. Alluding that the Roma are known for collecting copper.

One of her acquaintances posted this on Twitter these days, with the reaction that she should stop humiliating this girl and that no peer wants to accompany her to the polymath celebration because she is Roma.

Immediately social networks "exploded". The most concrete reaction was the well-known Serbian singer Seka Aleksic, who first asked for contact with the girl, and later announced on her Twitter that she had already entered and it was agreed that she would personally be her chaperone at the prom. As she herself says, the girl was delighted by that gesture.

Now many famous Serbian pop stars and artists have also offered to help in some way to celebrate the graduation of this girl, who suffered torture from her peers.

There is no prison sentence for the policeman who beat Roma in Bitola, the Appeal changed it to a suspended sentence

The 1-year prison sentence was decided by the Court of Appeal

and is converted into a suspended sentence with the obligation that the accused not to commit a new crime for 3 years after the finality of the verdict, inform from the Institute for Research and Policy Analysis - Romalitko and the civil movement "Avaja".

The incident in Bitola is a well-known case to the public since September 2020 when four people of Roma nationality were beaten by police officers in Bitola.

The case became famous because it was recorded and published on social networks. In support of an effective verdict, two large protests were organized, one in Bitola and one in Skopje. For this case, there are two verdicts that ruled for the crime of mistreatment in the performance of duty and set a prison sentence of 1 year for one police officer. The case was closely followed by the international community, including the European Commission, which demanded an effective verdict and condemned police brutality.

- This verdict should have been a precedent in determining a prison sentence for police brutality because all other previous verdicts for police brutality set the same suspended sentence. By determining conditional sentences, we create an environment in which police brutality is not monitored and punished, and thus the trust of citizens in the police and the courts decreases. This judgment was not only significant for the Roma community as a community with more cases of police brutality, but also for the whole society because violence should not be a part of daily functioning.

With the first verdict, the court considered that the imposed prison sentence will influence the accused not to commit such or similar acts in the future and that with this sentence the goals of general and social prevention will be achieved, however, the appellate court came to the conclusion that the accused has criminal responsibility , but also the possibility of being punished more lightly. According to the court, the purpose of the punishment can also be achieved with a warning with the threat of a sentence-suspended sentence, which will have a sufficiently educational effect on the accused, and thus will have a positive effect on the plan for general prevention of such crimes. The court considers that the suspended prison sentence represents an adequate social rebuke.

The case will not stop there! We will continue to seek justice by using all legal means, say Romalitiko and Avaya, which includes a large part of the Roma NGO sector.

FaLang translation system by Faboba

Од 5 Ноември 2022 достапен документарниот филм на СП БТР „Небо, Точак, Земја„ на Max TV и Max TV GO со пребарување –Видеотека


6-to Romano Čhavorikanoo muzikakoro festivali 
„Čhavorikano Suno 2022“ – SP BTR

6-ти Ромски Детски музички фестивал
„Детски Сон 2022„ – СП БТР

6th Romani Children's Music Festival
"Children's Dream 2022" - SP BTR

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