Life sentence

When there is still an echo of Cholet Mayor’ words saying "Adolf Hitler may not execute enough Gypsies" (see), we have as a counterpart the news on the life sentence for the murderers of Hungary. A long-awaited sentence, given the severity of the events (see).

We still remember with amazement the murders produced in Hungary during the years 2008 and 2009, events that shocked the world and whose perpetrators were arrested subsequently. But it should be noted that during this time, almost no one had high hopes that these crimes were judge with justice, given the radicalization level of a significant part of the country, which stands at an advantageous political situation the neo-nazi, anti-Semitic Jobbik party, who is especially belligerent with the Roma community in Hungary (see editorial "the other Hungary").

Many of the current police members and officials, as well as politicians with strategic positioning or mayors of some towns who sympathize with the ideology of Jobbik, covers their actions in the places where they exert their influence; actions clearly carried out against to European law and, even international law. However, it seems that "a miracle" has occurred with the exemplary sentence of life imprisonment given to three of the detainees as direct perpetrators of crimes and 12 years in prison for the fourth involved as a collaborator.

It is curious that this decision have coincided with the premiere in Spain of the movie "Solo el viento", which relates the facts sentenced and shows the fear kept by all Roma community, making them living in permanent stalking and threat, as recently mentioned by little Robert’s mother, the 4 year old child who was killed with 14 bullets as he fled with his fatherThe companies all get breaks as do Medicare and Medicaid. from the fire caused by a Molotov cocktail thrown at night while sleeping, "There are strange that still haunt us and come to our house at night through the forest."

The Roma community is plenty of reasons to be afraid, because the persecution history dates back well before the events of 2008 and 2009 and continues to this day, since in all this time intimidation, persecution and mass demonstrations against them have continued to occur; prolonging and thus enhancing a stigmatization that may be difficult to remove in a short or medium term. Proof of this is the serious dispute at the town of Gyöngyöspata (see), popular demonstrations with anti-Roma slogans (see), or the dramatic situation that the Odz’s Mayor has caused to hundreds of Roma families in recent weeks (see).

I have no doubt of the importance that this life sentence could mean to the future and security of Roma people in the Magyar country, but a lot of things has to change so this event does not become in an isolated or anecdotal event. For this not to happen, the judgment must be accompanied by an action, or reaction, of all the politicians who have the responsibility of government, social partners and major human rights organizations.

Finally, I cannot hide my fear of the possibility that this sentence convert the convicts into living martyrs, further strengthening Jobbik belligerent attitude and violent actions of individuals or paramilitary groups, who may consider the sentence as an affront or a declaration of war.

José Alfredo Maya Maya

President of  the Maranatha Federation of Rroma Associations

Mundo Gitano – Gypsy World