Continuing discrimination and violence against Roma, domestic violence,
failure to deal with cases of human trafficking and corruption are
highlighted as black marks against the Czech Republic in the US state
department’s annual survey of human rights in the world. Societal
discrimination and violence against Roma was a problem last year with human
rights organisations attacking the government’s failure to deal with it,
the report said. Exploitation of illegal and migrant workers and
discrimination against labour unions were also highlighted in the report.
Attempts to stamp out abuses in the police and other forces were taken but
areas of immunity persisted, it added..
Photographer Chad Evans Wyatt and partners PROM Foundation have completed a
13-year look at representatives of the middle-class and professionals among
the Roma. A forceful counter to common assumption that the Roma cannot
The head of the Dawn party, MP Tomio Okamura, on Friday visited Vlastimil
Pechanec who is serving a 17-year-jail term for a racially-motivated murder
of a Romany man. Mr Okamura said he wanted to hear Pechanec’ account of the
events; he said the 2003 trial against Pechanec had been manipulated, and
would like to have the case reopened.
President Miloš Zeman has nominated Stanislav Křeček to the post of
Ombudsman, following the resignation of Pavel Varvařovský late last year.
Mr. Křeček has served as deputy Ombudsman since April of last year.
The authorities in Prague 7 have fined an artist over a series of works
combining the Czech national flag with that of the Romany people. He says
the flags, which appeared on an embankment in the city last summer, were
meant to foster debate on tensions between the two communities. However,
the local town hall accuses him of defaming a Czech national symbol.
Jiří Rusnok’s cabinet has approved a set of seven measures drawn up to
help avoid future conflicts in and around socially excluded areas in the
Czech Republic. The measures include changes in housing benefits, and an
increased number of social workers and social services offered in high-risk
localities and ghettos. The measures were supposed to include changes in
social housing, but Regional Development Ministry failed to come up with
A Romany boys’ choir, including an eight-year-old boy, was accosted by a
group of five youths on Friday, seeing punches thrown, kicking and
bullying. Respected performer Ida Kelarová, the choir leader, revealed
information; but, she said, the attack was not racially-motivated. The
police are searching for the group of five; the youths could be charged
with disorderly conduct.
Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico arrived in Prague on Thursday for a
brief official visit. He met with the Czech prime minister, Jiří Rusnok;
the two officials signed an agreement on mutual recognizing of university
degrees between the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and discussed the
situation of their countries’ Roma communities. The head of the Slovak
cabinet also delivered a lecture at Prague’s Charles University during