Life sentence

When the Cholet’s mayor says that “Maybe Adolf Hitler didn’t execute enough gypsy people” (see), we answer with the life imprisonment sentence of the Hungary killers. This sentence had been longly waited by everybody considered the gravity of the events sent to trial (see).

We still remember with astonishment the murders that moved the whole world committed in Hungary between 2008 and 2009, whose perpetrators were arrested later. During all this period, nobody cherished the hope of getting justice for these crimes, considering the radicalisation of a big part of the country. As a matter of facts, it favored the Jobbik neo-Nazi party, clearly anti-Semite especially towards the gypsy people living in Hungary (see the article “The other Hungary”).

Most of the current police members and officers, togheter with politicians having strategic positions or mayors of some places sympathising with the Jobbik ideology, act against the European regulation and the International Right in the places they exert their influence. However, a “miraculous” sentence condemned three prisoners to life imprisonment as perpetrators of these crimes and another man involved as collaborator to 12 years of prison.

This sentence coincided with the premiere in Spain of the film “Just the wind”, that describes these events and shows the fear of the gypsy people who live an eternal situation of danger and menace. This was also described in a similar way by the mother of the little Rober, the 4-year-old child who was killed with 14 bullets whilst he was escaping with his father from the fire produced by a cocktail molotov thrown during the night while they were sleeping. “There are strangers that still menace us and approach our home during the night through the wood.”

They have a lot of reasons for being afraid because the history of their persecution begun before the events happened in 2008 and 2009 and it still goes on nowadays. Indeed during all this time intimidations, persecutions and mass manifestations against them have happened; extending and reinforcing in this way a stigmatization they won’t get rid of within a short or medium term. All this is demonstrated by the serious conflict produced in the town of Gyöngyöspata (see), the popular manifestations with anti-gypsy slogans (see) or the extreme situation that the mayor of the town of Odz (see) provoked to hundreds of gypsy families during the last weeks.

Doubtless this life imprisonment sentence will be important for the future and the security of Romani people in Hungary but things still have to change to avoid that this event remains an isolated or incidental case.

In order to prevent this circumstance, the pronounced sentence must  be supported by an action, or reaction, of all the politicians who are responsible of the governments, of the social agents and of the big organizations of human rights.

Finally, I fear that this sentence could transform the prisoners into living martyrs, strenghtening more and more the belligerant attitude of  Jobbik and the violent actions of people or paramilitary groups who could consider this sentence as an insult or as a war declaration.