Macedonia: Institutional discrimination and police brutality against Roma
Fatmir Memedov v the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
MRG submitted a third party intervention in a case before the European Court of Human Rights concerning a member of the Roma community who claims to have been a victim of police brutality on account of his ethnicity during a police raid in Skopje, Macedonia. The conduct he describes is part of a broader pattern of institutional discrimination by Macedonian law enforcement against members of the Roma community.
This case raises several critical issues in relation to the scope of anti-discrimination protections and the burden of proving institutional discrimination under Article 14 in conjunction with Article 3 and Article 1 of Protocol 12 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Despite the Court’s extensive anti-discrimination jurisprudence, the Court has not yet explored these issues in the context of institutional racism by law enforcement.
Across Europe, Roma face a form of widespread structural discrimination that is deeply rooted in a historical and social context that reproduces and perpetuates their social disadvantage vis-à-vis the majority population. The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance has referred to this form of institutional discrimination as antigypsyism. The consequences of antigypsyism are evident in the impunity [page 7 of 13, section D] with which law enforcement officers commit acts of violence against members of the Roma community in Macedonia.
MRG is hopeful the Court will deliver a favourable judgment that will help tackle the entrenched structural discrimination Roma face across Europe, including in differential treatment by law enforcement.
- Submission on behalf of the interveners (MRG) to the European Court of Human Rights in the case Fatmir Memdov v the Former Republic of Macedonia.
- ERRC’s Application on behalf of Mr. Memedov.
- Additional documents and information about the case are available on ERRC’s website.
Photo: International flag of the Romani people.