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March 24, 2017
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Gwendolyn Albert


Author's articles

PHOTO:  Wokandapix, Pixabay.com
PHOTO: Wokandapix, Pixabay.com

Gwendolyn Albert: Is impunity ending for ethnic discrimination in the Czech schools?

16.3.2017 16:59

The judgment earlier this month finding that a primary school discriminated against Romani enrollees into first grade on the basis of their ethnicity stands out as an example of children and their parents asserting their right to education in the Czech Republic. Should the school appeal, and should the first-instance judgment withstand higher court scrutiny, we might be able to say that a first blow has been dealt by the Czech courts to the impunity for ethnic discrimination in the schools that has persisted here for decades.

 full story

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French court fines Jean-Marie Le Pen for abusive remarks about Romani people - again

9.3.2017 12:39 A French appeals court has fined the founder of the ultra-right party Front National (FN), Jean-Marie Le Pen, for abusive remarks he made about Romani people in 2013. The Czech News Agency reports that Last April's fine of EUR 8 000 has been reduced to EUR 5 000 but does not specify why.  full story

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Czech Police propose charging four people for neo-Nazi graffiti on businesses in the HateFree Zone

9.3.2017 8:52 Police in Prague, Czech Republic have proposed charging four people with spray-painting neo-Nazi symbols on businesses and cafes involved in the Czech Government's
HateFree Zone project. Prosecution of a fifth defendant has been temporarily suspended.
 full story

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Czech state chooses firm to appraise pig farm on concentration camp site

18.2.2017 9:21 The Czech Culture Ministry has chosen a firm to produce an expert appraisal of the value of the pig farm at Lety u Písku located on the site of what was once a concentration camp. The B.S.O. expert institute of Prague will produce it and is being paid CZK 228 690 (EUR 8 463) inclusive of VAT to do so.  full story

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Czech Education Minister wants to give schools money to visit historical sites

13.2.2017 7:36 Czech Education Minister Kateřina Valachová (Czech Social Democratic Party - ČSSD) wants to make it possible for schools to visit certain locations connected with Czech history free of charge. In May the ministry will make public a pilot program through which schools will be able to seek money for such field trips.  full story

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Czech Police propose prosecution of ultra-right extremist, he faces three years if convicted

12.2.2017 9:39 Prague Police have proposed prosecuting the chair of the ultra-right National Democracy party, Adam B.Bartoš, for the crimes of approving of and/or denying, justifying or questioning genocide, inciting hatred, defaming a nation and approving of a felony. Tomáš Hulan, spokesperson for the Prague Police, informed the Czech News Agency of the indictment on 7 February.  full story

Dorin Cioaba (PHOTO: http://jurnalul.ro)

International Romani Union says offer to help Trump came from Rom facing traditional community justice procedure in Romania

8.2.2017 8:35 Dorin Cioabă, the self-declared "King of all Roma", has sent a letter to US President Donald Trump promising to aid him with building the controversial wall on the border between Mexico and the USA. This news, which in the Czech Republic would usually only be fit for the tabloid media, was instead reported here by public broadcaster Czech Radio.  full story

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Germany: Berlinale Film Festival opens with film about Django Reinhardt

10.1.2017 10:55 The 67th annual incarnation of one of the most significant film festivals in the world, Germany's Berlinale, will open this year with the world premier of "Django". The feature-length film about the genius Sinti jazz musician is a directorial debut for French producer and screenwriter Etienne Comar, who is known primarily thanks to his work on the screenplay for the critically-acclaimed 2015 film "Mon Roi" (My King).  full story

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Czech bank to donate almost two billion crowns to education through foundation

3.1.2017 7:51 The Česká spořitelna bank informed the Czech News Agency yesterday that the value of the passbook accounts held anonymously by it that were no longer legally required to be redeemable is CZK 1.78 billion (EUR 66 million) as of the end of 2016. A total of 2 456 000 deposits were not redeemed before the bank's deadline expired.  full story

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USA: Tech firm staffers refuse to work for Trump

18.12.2016 20:23 On 14 December Reuters reported that approximately 100 employees of American technology firms have pledged not to aid President-elect Donald Trump create a database of people according to their religion or to deport people en masse. The signatories to the open letter are employed by Google, Twitter and other firms.  full story

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Czech court overturns fine against attorney who objected to expert by alleging he was Jewish

7.12.2016 14:08 The attorney Petr Kočí has successfully appealed a fine against him for alleging court expert Michal Mazel was of Jewish origin. The attorney was defending a member of an ultra-right party and claimed Mazel's alleged origin would bias him against the defendant  full story

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Czech Republic: Romani housing estate residents sign petition complaining about conditions

5.12.2016 18:25 Dozens of occupants of the Janov housing estate in the Czech town of Litvínov have drawn up a complaint and petition about their housing conditions. They are blaming the Krušnohor Apartment Building Cooperative for the disrepair of the properties it owns there.  full story

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Romani fashion designer wins international competition in the USA

20.11.2016 11:09 Pavel Berky, a fashion designer from Slovakia of Romani origin who lives and works in London, England, was one of four finalists in the international fashion competition Exalt Fashion Show. On Saturday, 19 November, he showed his collection in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA at the final evening of the contest, which he won.  full story

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Thousands commemorate 17 November anniversary on significant street in the Czech capital

18.11.2016 15:38 Thousands of people commemorated the anniversary of 17 November on Národní třída (National Avenue) in Prague yesterday. University students organized an event called the "National Parade" (Korzo Národní) where people could amuse themselves and also learn about the events of November 1989.  full story

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Czech Republic: Dozens of events on 17 November in Prague - including ultra-right ones

18.11.2016 9:38 Yesterday, people in the Czech Republic commemorated the historical events connected with 17 November, when German Nazis murdered students in 1939 and 50 years later the communists in power used police brutality against students. In Prague there were dozens of events underway - assemblies, carnival marches, cultural "happenings", demonstrations and marches.  full story

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Macedonia: Children's education being cut short by early and forced marriages

2.11.2016 7:39 Teen marriages pose a dilemma for primary and secondary education, which in Macedonia is regulated by law, compulsory, and meant to be finished at the age of 18. In practice, teen marriages are still being approved by the authorities, with no one being concerned about the teenagers’ further education. Those most devastated by such parental and institutional actions are girls, who, instead of getting an education and living a normal way of life for their age, are left to continue living in poverty and dysfunctional marriages.  full story

PHOTO: Google Maps

President of Bulgarian Helsinki Committee assaulted in Sofia, says it was retribution for his human rights work

28.10.2016 16:05 The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) reports that Krasimir Kanev, the president of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (BHC), an independent NGO that protects human rights, was assaulted in Sofia yesterday. Kanev has told the BIRN he was attacked around 9:30 AM in front of the Radisson Hotel by two men he did not know who punched him in the face and stomach before fleeing the scene.  full story

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Czech Republic: ROMEA awards scholarships to Romani secondary school students

25.10.2016 10:27 More than 50 Roma students at higher vocational schools and high schools in the Czech Republic received scholarships yesterday in Prague from the ROMEA organization. The stipends aid those whose studies are endangered by their families' bad financial situations.  full story

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Members of the European Parliament urge European Commission to move EU-subsidized pig farm from Lety site

17.10.2016 15:42 More than 80 legislators, some with the European Parliament and many at national level in 20 different EU Member States, have urged the head of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, to begin addressing the situation of the former concentration camp for Romani people at Lety by Písek, where an industrial pig farm stands today. The legislators say the genocide of Romani people was perpetrated at that site and the EU must commit to making sure it is in a dignified state.  full story

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videoEuropean Roma Spirit Awards: Impreuna, Roma Education Support Trust, Romea.cz, Spišský Hrhov, Sabiha Suleiman

11.10.2016 15:15 Yesterday the first-ever European Roma Spirit Awards were announced in Bratislava. The ceremony included a video greeting from EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Věra Jourová.  full story

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