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Judges declare Romania human rights breach after anti-Roma revenge murders

Judges have made awards totalling €42,000 after finding Romania in breach of huma rights laws after police joined a mob attacking Roma villagers.

The revenge assault saw two men beaten to death, whilst another was burnt alive in his hiding place shelter.

Lăcătuş and Others v. Romania (no. 12694/04)

The applicants, Voichiţa (Rostaş) Lăcătuş, Speranţa-Lămâiţa Rostaş and Rada-Codruţa Rostaş, are Romanian nationals who were born in 1970, 1990 and 1994, respectively, and live in Staden (Belgium).

The case concerned an attack on Roma homes in the village of Hădăreni in September 1993 by a mob of non-Roma villagers and the local police, during which the applicants’ common-law partner and father, Aurel Pardalian Lăcătuş, had been beaten to death by the crowd.

Lăcătuş’ brother had also been beaten to death and another Roma man had been burnt to death when the house in which he was hiding had been set fire to by the crowd.

The incident had occurred following a row in a bar in which a non-Roma man had been killed. In total 13 Roma houses in the village had been completely destroyed and many Roma, including Ms Lăcătuş who was pregnant at the time and Ms Speranţa-Lămâiţa Rostaş, had been hounded from their home and then obliged to live in crowded and unsuitable conditions.

Relying in particular on Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) and Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life and the home), the applicants complained about the destruction of their home in September 1993 by the mob and the poor and cramped conditions in which they had been forced to live afterwards.

Further, relying on Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair trial), the applicants also complained in particular that the courts had failed to provide reasons for the difference in damages awarded to the three widows of the men killed during the attack. The applicants also submitted that the domestic courts and other official authorities had referred to them in disparaging and discriminatory terms in the course of the proceedings to which they had been a party, in breach of Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) in conjunction with Articles 6 and 8.


Violation of Articles 3 and 8 (for the period after June 1994)
Violation of Article 6 § 1
Violation of Article 14 in conjunction with Articles 6 and 8 of the Convention

Just satisfaction: EUR 17,000 to Ms Voichiţa (Rostaş) Lăcătuş (pecuniary and nonpecuniary damage), EUR 11,000 to Ms Speranţa-Lămâiţa Rostaş (non-pecuniary damage) and 11,000 to Ms Rada-Codruţa Rostaş (non-pecuniary damage) and EUR 3,000 to the applicants jointly (costs and expenses)

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