The heads of three Roma rights organisations have called on the government to act over the extreme-right party Jobbik’s continued campaigns against the ethnic minority’s inhabitants of rural villages. The veteran campaigner Aladár Horváth, founder of the Civil Rights Movement for the Republic, Jenõ Zsigó (Roma Parliament) and Jenõ Setét issued an open letter on Sunday after a Jobbik event in the northern village of Kerecsend that day.
Jobbik wants special “gendarmerie”
Some 500 people had joined the rally, where Jobbik MPs and council politicians were among the speakers. Jobbik deputy leader Tamás Sneider repeated the party’s call for a separate “gendarmerie” to keep order in the countryside.
Jobbik said it organised the demonstration after residents asked for its help, complaining that some members of the Roma community had made their lives impossible. An elderly couple was recently beaten.
Jobbik has recently renewed its campaign against what it calls “Gypsy crime”. Several hundred Roma had protested in the eastern city of Miskolc the previous week as Jobbik prepared to hold a similar rally.
Laws in place: Roma
“We call on the Hungarian government and internal affairs bodies to prevent extreme-right-wing organisations and criminals from upsetting life in Hungarian villages and from engaging in illegal incitement,” the letter ran. It called for the application of a law outlawing uniformed vigilante groups that was passed last year amid an uproar over such activities in the northern town of Gyöngyöspata.