Last Updated: Friday, 19 January 2018, 17:46 GMT

Chronology for Roma in Hungary

Publisher Minorities at Risk Project
Publication Date 2004
Cite as Minorities at Risk Project, Chronology for Roma in Hungary, 2004, available at: [accessed 21 January 2018]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.
Date(s) Item
Oct 17 - 20, 1989 Hungary's legislature enacts a new transitional constitution and multiparty democratic system.
Oct 23, 1989 The Hungarian Republic is proclaimed.
Feb 1990 The Freedom Party, a right-wing party which classifies citizens of Hungary on racial grounds, described Gypsies in its party newspaper as one of the menacing races "which can only be assimilated with difficulty or not at all." The newspaper goes on to suggest that Gypsies, among others, should be deprived of influence over the "Hungarian way of life." Note: Racist remarks against Gypsies, among others, by the press and political parties are common throughout the period covered by this chronology and will not be further noted unless otherwise noteworthy.
Mar 1, 1990 Legislators vote to give national minorities, including Gypsies, one seat each in the national assembly.
Mar 25, 1990 Hungary's first free elections are held. Gypsies, due to political infighting, do not form any large broad based parties but, rather, form about 10 separate parties. Although 2 Gypsy members of the Phralipe party win seats, most Gypsies seem to support the Free Democrats.
Jun 1990 The Justice Party of Hungarian Gypsies demands that a minister of Gypsies be appointed.
Jun 1990 Various Gypsy human rights organizations are assembled under the umbrella of the National Council of Gypsy Organizations.
Sep 1990 150 skinheads launch a pogrom on a Roma section of the town of Eger. Police do not respond for 4 hours, do not notify their superiors, and fail to summon reinforcements for 3 days.
Jan 19, 1991 119 delegates from 14 organizations adopt the founding declaration of the Hungarian Roma Parliament.
Feb 7, 1991 In a raid apparently prompted by a local officials request for a show of force to discipline "trouble makers," police anti-terror units sweep through several towns. During the course of this raid several Roma are seriously beaten.
Apr 12 - 14, 1991 At a 2-day conference of Hungarian Gypsies, Gypsy leaders complain that the Gypsies are seen by many Hungarians as targets for venting their political and economic frustrations. Note: This complaint is made often throughout the period covered by this chronology and will not be further noted unless otherwise noteworthy.
May 1991 150 skinheads attack the Roma in the town of Eger in a pogrom-like assault.
Jul 14, 1991 The delegates from Hungary's Roma Parliament address a petition to the Geneva conference of the CSCE countries to set up an international fact-finding committee the survey the status of the Gypsies in Europe.
Jul 18, 1991 The Roma Forum, a body of 22 Gypsy organizations in Hungary, holds its first national congress.
Aug 1 - Dec 31, 1991 Police report 37 skinhead attacks on Roma. The Martin Luther King Association reports about 100. Both of these estimates are probably low because, due to their lack of trust in the police, an estimated four out of five incidents are not reported.
Jan 25, 1992 48 skinheads are accused of going on a rampage described as a "beating tour" in Budapest. The are accused of savagely beating both Gypsies and other minorities. Nine are eventually sent to reform school and the other 39 are given probation or suspended sentences.
Feb 1992 A draft of the Minority Bill defines the Roma as an ethnic but not national minority.
Mar 1992 A Gypsy man believed to be beaten by skinheads dies when police and paramedics take hours to respond to the incident. Fears of another such attack lead to an atmosphere of panic. As a result, 12 Roma who believe such an attack is beginning attack a policeman and two civil guards. In response, the police engage in a commando raid of the area ordering all Roma out of their homes and searching the premises. Despite orders, several Roma are assaulted by police officers. There is no subsequent investigation of the legality of the raid or of the alleged use of excessive force.
Mar 15, 1992 The commemoration of the 1848 Hungarian revolution is disrupted by skinheads who assault the representative of a Roma organization.
Apr 1992 The Ghandi foundation announces it hopes to open Hungary's first Gypsy secondary school. The government eventually agrees to help fund the school.
Aug 28, 1992 At a conference in Budapest, 22 Gypsy organizations from 10 countries agree to set up a European Roma parliament.
Sep 9, 1992 The houses of 2 Gypsies are set fire in the eastern village of Keteyhiza near the Hungarian border.
Dec 14, 1992 Police records show 51 assaults by young neo-Nazis this year on Gypsies and foreigners. Also, at least four right-wing youth groups have been legally registered.
Jan 1, 1993 The number of Roma organizations registered with the office of National Ethnic Minorities exceeds 100. This includes several newspapers.
Jan 1993 Clashes occur between about eight skinheads and two Gypsy men. The skinheads later say they mistook the Gypsies for Jews.
1993 The Supreme Court decides that the section of the law that deals with racially motivated crimes does not apply to skinhead attacks on foreigners, Gypsies or other members of ethnic minorities. Instead, those few skinhead attacks that reach courts are treated as simple hooliganism.
Mar 1993 Since the beginning of 1991, 117 skinheads have been tried for 11 cases mainly involving physical abuse to non-white foreigners and Gypsies.
Jun 1993 A Gypsy youth is severely beaten by skinheads resulting in a coma.
Jul 8, 1993 Parliament passes the National Minorities Bill giving cultural and political protection to the country's minorities. For the first time Gypsies are officially recognized as a national minority. This law allows them to elect local minority governments with limited autonomous powers.
Jul 11, 1993 More than 1,000 Gypsies and sympathizers demonstrate against racism and fascism in the northern town of Eger.
May 1994 Nine Gypsies are injured in clashes with police in the village of Orkeny. Police say that they reacted to an attack by 150 Gypsies against detectives investigating a robbery in the village.
May 1994 The Ghandi secondary school for Gypsies opens.
Jul 22, 1994 116 of the 206 registered Gypsy organizations in Hungary join to form the Roma Roundtable.
Nov 14, 1994 Police launch proceedings against 12 "young people" alleged to have thrown a fire-bomb into the house of a Gypsy family in the northwestern town of Gyoengyoes.
Dec 21, 1994 According to the National Ethnic and Minority Legal Protection Office, 120 atrocities have been committed against Gypsies this year.
Jan 5, 1995 76 out of 1,600 Gypsies in Hatavan sign a petition demanding the abolition of the Gypsy minority self government because they see it as intended to segregate Gypsies.
Mar 1, 1995 About 80 drunk Roma and Hungarians clash in the central town of Kalocsa during May Day celebrations. Overnight about 80 Roma demonstrate outside the Kalocsa police station demanding the release of two Roma arrested during the incident.
Apr 10, 1995 The Roma minority in Hungary holds elections to its new national autonomous body. The Lungo Drom alliance wins all 53 seats. Lungo Drom leader Florian Farkas receives the most votes and becomes the leader of the new national body representing the Roma minority.
Aug 31 - Sep 3, 1995 The Gypsy world festival is held in Budapest.
Sep 25, 1995 Hungary ratifies the Council of Europe's convention on the protection of ethnic minorities.

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