Pavee Point joins members of the National Roma Network in asking the Government to join in the call for an urgent, thorough, and independent investigation into the tragic death of Stanislav Tomáš, a Roma man in the Czech Republic.
Jenny Liston, Roma Programme Coordinator at Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Centre says:
All members of the National Roma Network are deeply saddened and concerned about the death of Stanislav Tomáš, a Roma man who died soon after two police officers applied excessive force to his neck during an arrest. These last moments were captured on distressing video footage and comparisons are being drawn between his death and the death of George Floyd in America.
The official responses from Czech police, and Government have been deeply disturbing. Preliminary statements by the police, and high-ranking members of the Czech government, including the Prime Minister, have supported the police officers and characterized Stanislav Tomáš in discriminatory, and derogatory ways in an attempt to justify the police actions.
The Network calls on the Irish Government to meet their National and European commitments to the fulfilment of Traveller and Roma rights, and join in the Council of Europe, Amnesty International, and National and European Roma Organisations in their call for justice.
We have recently seen Ireland take the lead, along with other EU member states to object to anti-LGBT laws in Hungary, and we believe it is vital that Ireland continues to stand publicly against prejudice, and shows solidarity with the Roma community against this extreme form of Anti Roma Racism.
Gabi Muntean, Roma community worker at Pavee Point says
Anti-Traveller and Roma racism is widespread in Ireland and across Europe and unfortunately, incidents have increased in recent years, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The National Roma Network requests that the Minister:
- Raises this issue with your counterparts in the EU, particularly the Czech Republic, and highlights the concerns outlined above
- Takes a clear stance against Anti-Roma racism and police violence in a public statement, which also calls on Czech political representatives and the Czech media to refrain from using racist or inflammatory language, blaming the victim his family and loved ones, and stigmatising the Roma community
You can access the letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs from the National Roma Network here: