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May 24, 2018
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Jan Čonka


Author's articles

Slovak Police assaulted young children and others using batons in the Romani settlement of Zborov on 16 April 2017. An older woman who was not participating in any conflict was pushed to the ground by officers. Video footage of the raid was published at the end of May by the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC). (PHOTO:  Collage by Romea.cz)
Slovak Police assaulted young children and others using batons in the Romani settlement of Zborov on 16 April 2017. An older woman who was not participating in any conflict was pushed to the ground by officers. Video footage of the raid was published at the end of May by the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC). (PHOTO: Collage by Romea.cz)

videoSlovakia: Romani residents of Zborov tell Romea.cz that police beat children, pregnant women, threatened retribution if video released

12.6.2017 8:16 News server Romea.cz has visited the settlement of Zborov, Slovakia to investigate how police officers there performed a recent intervention against its Romani residents. On 16 April, officers were filmed using their batons to assault young children and others there.
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Hungarian camerawoman who kicked refugees including children being investigated by police

13.9.2015 8:23 Hungary has been shaken by a brief video taken at its border with Serbia that shows a camerawoman for Hungary's N1TV station kicking young refugee boys and girls and tripping a refugee carrying a child as they make their way through a Hungarian Police cordon. Other journalists captured the camerawoman's behavior on film.  full story

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Human Rights Watch says Czech debate on migration would cause an uproar if understood in the West

11.9.2015 20:17 According to Andrew Stroehlein of the Brussels branch of Human Rights Watch (HRW), the domestic public debate about the refugee crisis is being led in the Czech Republic in a way that would cause an international uproar if it were happening in a Western European country. The reputation of the Czech Republic and its politicians, he believes, is protected to a significant degree by the fact that few people outside the country speak Czech.  full story

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European Court of Justice finds Czech utility discriminates against Roma in Bulgaria

18.7.2015 19:32 Deutsche Presse-Agentur reports that yesterday the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg ruled that the decision by the Bulgarian division of the Czech power company ČEZ to install electricity meters in the predominantly Romani-occupied quarter of the town of Dupnica at a greater height than in other parts of town constitutes discrimination. ČEZ spokesperson Barbora Půlpánová, however, told the Czech News Agency that the meters were installed prior to ČEZ entering the Bulgarian market.  full story

Flags in front of the European Commission building in Brussels (PHOTO: Sébastien Bertrand, Wikimedia Commons)

EU-28 ministers have not yet reached full agreement on refugee redistribution

10.7.2015 16:19 Interior Ministers of the Member States of the European Union were unable to fully reach agreement yesterday on how they will redistribute 40 000 asylum seekers currently in Greece and Italy throughout the EU over the next two years. Jean Asselborn, the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Luxembourg, which currently presides over the EU, is convinced that agreement will be reached at the next meeting on 20 July.  full story

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Czech amendment would make it easier for minorities to ask for bilingual street signs

12.6.2015 19:16 If a proposed amendment passes, groups representing the interests of national minorities that have been active on the territory of a particular municipality for at least five years will be able to request bilingual street signs. Passage would also mean the Czech Interior Ministry would be able to intervene in territorial disputes between municipalities.  full story

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Roma demand apology from Czech Education Minister on Facebook for his insulting remarks on television

7.5.2015 15:42 Romani activist Miroslav Klempár is using his Facebook profile to call on Romani people to sign an open letter to Czech Education Minister Marcel Chládek. Klempár refers in the letter to the minister's recent appearance on Czech Television, where he responded to a critical report by Amnesty International in part as follows: We are doing our best today just to get children from excluded localities into the schools. Many representatives of the schools go to their homes to drag them out of bed. They are doing their best to teach them the basics of hygiene, to speak Czech correctly, and also to teach them that it's just not normal for someone to stay in bed until noon and then smoke a pack of cigarettes - in other words, that people also go to work."  full story

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European Commission to decide whether proceedings against Czech Republic over Roma discrimination will continue

Brussels, 1.5.2015 21:22 The European Commission should decide next week whether to continue its infringement proceedings against the Czech Republic over discrimination against Romani children in the schools. EU Justice Commissioner Věra Jourová made the announcement in an interview with the Czech media yesterday.  full story

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Austria still trying to decide what to do with Hitler's birthplace

Braunau am Inn, Austria, 1.5.2015 0:44 "It's the same circus here every year," mumbles a passer-by, glancing at the small assembly in front of the golden-yellow facade. Adolf Hitler still casts a shadow over his birthplace of Braunau am Inn even 70 years after his suicide on 30 April 1945.  full story

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Czech Republic: Romani figures respond to removal of director of Agency for Social Inclusion

17.4.2015 19:10 News server Romea.cz has contacted Romani activists, experts and politicians for their reactions to the removal of Martin Šimáček from the post of director of the Czech Government Agency for Social Inclusion. We asked them 1) what they think of his removal and 2) whether they know what the reasons for it are.  full story

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Slovakia: Mayor and Romani residents say police brutalized them, police deny it

Slovakia, 4.4.2015 2:25 Approximately 200 - 300 Romani people gathered on 3 April outside the local authority in the municipality of Vrbnica (Michalovce District) to protest a police intervention that took place during a house-to-house search there on Thursday, 2 April code-named "100". Mayor Jaroslav Tokár held a press conference to report that several people had been injured during what he said was a brutal police intervention.  full story

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Slovakia: Number of extremist crimes drops

Bratislava, Slovakia, 25.3.2015 18:55, (ROMEA) The number of crimes connected with extremism and racial motivation has fallen in Slovakia in recent years. The Slovak Interior Ministry announced these findings on 20 March.  full story

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Janov residents petition Czech PM over "gypsies"

7.3.2015 0:10, (ROMEA) Residents of the Janov housing estate in the town of Litvínov who are calling themselves the "decent majority" have sent a petition to Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka. The residents are asking the state to aggressively intervene in their neighborhood.  full story

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videoSlovakia: Scandalous verdict acquits police of torturing Romani children

Bratislava, Slovakia, 28.2.2015 23:57, (ROMEA) Yesterday a court in Slovakia acquitted all 10 current and former police officers who faced prosecution for abusing Romani children at a police station. The police filmed their humiliation of the children using their mobile phones and shared the footage.  full story

Greece: Suspended sentence for racist remarks made to physician from Nigeria

Thessaloniki, Greece, 28.2.2015 22:16, (ROMEA) A Greek court has handed down a suspended sentence of six months in prison, postponed for three years, against a patient who made a racist statement to a doctor of Nigerian origin. The Associated Press reports that the male patient verbally attacked the female physician during his intake at a hospital to which he had been transported because of breathing difficulties.  full story

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International caricaturists' meeting cancelled: Is extremism trumping freedom of speech?

Caen, France, 28.2.2015 21:45, (ROMEA) A museum in the French town of Caen has cancelled its traditional international festival of political caricatures, which is held every five years, out of concern that terrorists might attack it. Deutsche Presse-Agentur reports that the meeting was originally scheduled to take place in April.  full story

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Greece: Danger of Nazism favorite topic of new government

Berlin, 6.2.2015 19:17, (ROMEA) The danger of Nazism has become a favorite topic of speeches being made by representatives of the Greek Government, which is facing off against the anti-Semitic, xenophobic Golden Dawn party, the third-strongest party in Parliament. Agence France-Presse reports that Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis most recently raised the specter of Nazism while visiting his German Counterpart, Wolfgang Schäuble, in Berlin.  full story

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Hungary: Ultra-right mayor proposes fence against migrants

6.2.2015 17:57, (ROMEA) The Hungarian border with Serbia needs a fence to keep out the growing number of refugees heading into the country. That is the opinion of László Toroczkai. mayor of the southern Hungarian village of Ásotthalom and a member of the radical Jobbik party.  full story

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Czech Republic: Roma to demonstrate against racism in Ostrava tomorrow, neo-Nazis to counter-demonstrate

Ostrava, 5.12.2014 22:18, (ROMEA) On Saturday 6 December at 14:00 a demonstration against racism will take place in Ostrava on Svatopluk Čech Square in the Přívoz quarter, followed by a march to Prokešovo Square. At 13:30 neo-Nazis have announced they will be gathering on Prokešovo Square and are convening a counter-protest through neo-Nazi websites and social networks.

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Czech Human Rights Minister completing amendment to enhance ombud powers

Brno/Prague, 17.7.2014 17:17, (ROMEA) Czech Human Rights Minister Jiří Dienstbier (Czech Social Democrats - ČSSD) will be submitting a draft amendment to enhance the powers of the ombud within the next few weeks. The change would grant the ombud authority to request the Constitutional Court to abolish dubious laws and the authority to file anti-discrimination suits.  full story

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