ECtHR communicated the case of a Roma woman

The European Court for Human Rights (ECtHR) has communicated legal appeal made by the lawyer of ADC “Memorial” Olga Tseitlina on behalf of Zhanna Lakatosz, who had been accused of beating a 1-year-old child, which had led to the baby’s death. Zhanna Lakatosz had been convicted by Russian court despite the absence of key witnesses (the court had repeatedly demanded their presence in order to testify before the jury, but the prosecution had failed to meet this requirement – because these “witnesses” had reasons to hide), thus it was a violation of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The court and investigators did not take into account neither the obvious alibi of Zhanna Lakatosz (at the time of the death of the child she had been held in a detention center herself), nor the very important testimony of the only witness to the murder – a boy who saw his uncle dealing a fatal blow on the head of the kid with a hammer. All charges against Zhanna Lakatosz were based solely on the testimonies given to investigators by the very same uncle of the child (that is, the likely real killer) and his mother.

Despite the obvious shortcomings of the investigation, the court sentenced Zhanna Lakatosz to 10,5 years of imprisonment. The situation of Zhanna Lakatosz is described in detail in an article.

At the session of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (UN CEDAW) held in October 2015 ADC “Memorial” raised the issue of the particularly difficult situation of Roma women living in compact Roma settlements. Experts called for a prompt and effective investigation and fair trial of crimes against women, ethnic and sexual minorities.