Victims murdered in a spate of racially-motivated attacks against Roma a decade earlier were commemorated in Budapest on Saturday.
The commemoration took place on the tenth anniversary of the murder of Róbert Csorba and his five-year-old son in Tatárszentgyörgy, central Hungary. The two were shot fleeing their home which had been firebombed.
The organisers of the commemoration – Roma civil organisations, ethnic minority councils and activists – placed a memorial plaque to the victims in Budapest’s Pope John Paul II Square. Afterward, they walked by torchlight to central Deák Square to attend a service for the victims of the attacks in the Lutheran church there.
Photo by Attila Kovács/MTI
János Pál Csóka, head of the Budapest Roma Ethnic Minority Council, said it is important for Roma to stand up for their ethnic identity. The events of ten years ago were reminiscent of the Roma Holocaust “when our people were rounded up”, he said. This must never happen again, he added.
Ministry staff lay wreath on graves of Tatárszentgyörgy victims
Staff of the Human Resources Ministry have laid a wreath at the graves of Roma murdered in Tatárszentgyörgy, in central Hungary, ten years ago, the ministry said in a statement on Saturday.
The ministry noted that six people had been murdered in a spate of racially-motivated attacks against Roma in nine communities in 2008-2009.
Deputy state secretary for social inclusion Katalin Victor Langer laid the wreath with her colleagues from the Human Resources Ministry at the graves of Róbert Csorba and his five-year-old son. The two were shot fleeing their home which had been firebombed.
The ministry said the double murder in Tatárszentgyörgy had become the symbol of the series of murders as well as the period during the Gyurcsány government in which paramilitary groups were allowed to keep Roma communities in fear, even as politicians who styled themselves as defenders of rights conveyed in their statements that the Roma can only play the role of victim in Hungary.
The Kúria, Hungary’s supreme court, convicted four suspects for the murders in January 2016. Three were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole and one to a thirteen-year prison term.
On the featured photo: commemoration in Budapest. Photo by Attila Kovács/MTI