Emergency operator humiliates Roma woman instead of helping her

Back in April a bus driver beat a Roma woman and her few-months-old child with a broomstick at the bus station of Zilah/Zalău. Then the local media picked up the case, because the 25 year-old woman, named Florica Moldovan claimed that she called the Romanian emergency number, 112, but no one helped her. The local press didn’t believe the woman, doubting that she ever reported the incident. Now Romanian newspaper, Libertatea acquired the conversation between the woman and the operator of the emergency line, and discovered that the operator not only did not helped the abused woman, but scolded and humiliated her, calling her a crow, Romanian slur word for Roma.

On the evening of April 25, Florica Moldovan, a young woman from Szilágy/Sălaj county who had turned 25 that day, called 112, with a voice of despair. The woman claimed that she was beaten with a broomstick by a bus driver in the bus station in Zilah. Florica was holding David, her few-month-old boy, and next to her was another child, called Moses. She came from the hospital, where she had taken the children, and wanted to go home to Haraklány/Hereclean, the first stop from Zilah. The incident between the driver and the women was registered by another passenger, who later posted the video on social media. Unfortunately, the person did not notice that after the incident Moldovan called 112 and reported the incident, but no one helped her. The local press didn’t believe the woman, while the county police stated that no called was made. Now Libertatea found the conversation, and discovered that the woman was right all along.

The newspaper published the whole conversation, pointing out that the dispatcher didn’t take the woman seriously, despite the fact that she reported that she and her child were assaulted and located herself. The dispatcher shouted at the young woman, called her a crow, a racist world for Roma, and told her “to stop acting like a Gypsy”, also a slur in Romanian. The dispatcher also told the young women “to go to hell”, then connected her to the local police. The police sorted out the case in a few words, telling the woman to go to the police station and make a complaint. They also asked her to remember the bus license plate. The abused woman told the police that the bus was already gone, but the police officer simply hung up.

The Special Telecommunications Service, the operator of the helpline told Libertatea that an investigation has been launched, as they think the dispatcher has violated the dignity of a person seeking help. The operator was suspended from the job for duration of the investigation.

However, Zilah police say they have not received any emergency calls from the woman, and that’s why they have not acted on the matter. It is clear, that they are lying about it, as the audio file shows beyond any doubt that the police officer with whom the woman spoke did not request any details about the case and just told the victim to go to the station.


Author: Orsi Sarány