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Hungary’s Roma protect themselves

A suspect in a string of racist murders leaves a Budapest court


 

Hungary’s Roma protect themselvesHungary’s Roma population is so afraid of attacks by right-wing groups that they have started protecting their neighbourhoods through nighttime patrols. Their fear is justified: six Roma have been murdered in violent assaults since last November. After a huge police investigation, four men, alleged Roma haters who carefully planned their crimes, were detained for the deadly attacks in late August.

One of the worst attacks occurred in Tatárszentgyörgy last February. Erzsebet Csorba woke up to the sound of gunfire outside her house. She discovered her mortally wounded son not far from his firebombed house. Her grandson was nearby. “His whole small body was full with holes from the bullets,” she told Voice of America. The child soon died.

Many fear the violence directed at the nation’s 660,000 Roma will continue, despite the arrests. For the poor ethnic minority, segregation and discrimination increased after the fall of Communism when unskilled and unemployed Roma tended to concentrate in rural villages. Life was cheaper than the cities, but with little chance of work.

Tomás Polgár, a popular right-wing blogger, voices a common refrain among Hungarians: “They are criminals and they are a threat to us, the majority. They make more children, they’re taking over.” Ominously, he states, “It’s a war.” In June, Jobbik, a far-right party with a platform of getting tough on “Gypsy criminality,” captured 15 per cent of the vote in European elections.

The intimidation can be frightening. Viktória Mohácsi, a former Roma European politician, receives countless email threats. “I feel like I’m in a war,” she told a Dutch newspaper. While she isn’t sure if patrols of Roma areas are a good idea, she concedes there are few alternatives: “We can either set up an army or flee.”


 

Hungary’s Roma protect themselves

  1. Over 55% of our village are Roma. Towards the locals, Roma are extremely intimidating, targeting mainly the elderly.Drugs and prostitution are there main source of income.Politicians pander to there every whim. Why do they receive such large amounts of money for no work.? when the everyday Hungarian workers struggle on, it is a very sad state of affairs, I do feel sorry for the Hungarian people.

    • I just don’t believe you. Are you a bored census enumerator?

      • Hervucus! Have you ever lived in a community where roma make up a large part of the population? If the answer is no, then I invite you to Budapest 8 th district. The challenge is that you’ll have to live amongst the roma there for 6mnths. Then we’ll talk. Ok?

        • Correction. To “hervicus”

        • It sounds awful. I’m from Romanichal people in England, so the thought of related Roma folki ‘going on the game’ and taking drugs is unthinkable. It is taboo – completely against the culture. What kind of a thing can break the back of a people so much that they end up like this? Surely it can only be Hungary itself? I’m sorry for your troubles.

          • ‘Going on the game’?? Roma code talk for…. what exactly?

  2. Tomás Polgár, betrays the Jobbik's fear when you state "they are taking over". Roma make up only 6.6% of the Hungarian population. Get a grip! If Hungary wants to solve their "Roma problem", then provide them with a decent education and halt job discrimination against them.

    • not sure i agree

      • I suggest you think again.

  3. education education

  4. Political pawns. The cigány (Hungarian word for gypsy) issue is not one to be solved, through pouring resources into it, in the district in Budapest where I live (the highest district in cigány population), we have cigány who work (musicians, shop keepers, solicitors etc.), and more who do not work, and live the life of crime (theft, protection rackets, prostitution), there is even segregation in the cigány community, with quotes of 'we are not like those people'.

    Education would be a fine thing, but first get the cigány children into the schools, all I hear how the cigány are so hard done by, never solutions of what they would like, or can do (apart from have children, which is good money for them).

    As for the statement above, the cigány, have always historically lived in the villages, doing menial jobs or selling animals, it was the communists who bought them into the cities. But, one should also be aware the cigány issue, is not just a Hungarian issue, it is a European issue. As for the killings, plenty of theories, but one should not discount the present government, who have used the Secret Service in the past and been uncovered for some diabolical plots.

  5. Let them all emigrate to Canada. Problem solved (at least for the Hungarians).

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