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September 19, 2020



Jan Čonka

Author's articles

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

12.6.2017 8:16 News server 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 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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