Roma women, children return to Gyongyospata

Budapest, April 24 (MTI) – Women and children of the Roma community in Gyongyospata, who left their north Hungarian village ahead of a planned paramilitary programme near their neighbourhood two days ago, returned home on Sunday afternoon.

The 267 women and minors were evacuated because their lives were in danger, Janos Farkas, deputy head of the national Roma Civil Rights Movement said on welcoming the group.

Farkas denied reports that the Roma had actually been on a pre-organised holiday. He said that a family had been attacked on April 16, during preparations for the paramilitary training camp arranged by Vedero (meaning defence force), a radical nationalist group.

Farkas also noted that the local mayor had resigned due to increasing tension and that his successor could be a nominee of the radical nationalist Jobbik party. Should that happen, the Roma will have “no place” in Gyongyospata and will likely seek asylum in the US, Canada or the UK, he added.

When the group arrived in Gyongyospata, a woman getting off a bus hit a non-Roma resident twice in the face. The elderly woman was taken to hospital, while the police detained the attacker.

On Friday, some 400 police arrived in Gyongyospata and cordoned off Vedero’s campsite and detained organisers of the paramilitary programme. The police also made sure that no participants could enter the adjacent Roma neighbourhood. The programme ended on Saturday, a day earlier than planned, after all participants had left Gyongyospata.