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May 31, 2016
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Zdeněk Ryšavý

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Milan Chovanec, Czech Interior Minister, on an anti-immigrant demonstration held in Prague in 2015:
Milan Chovanec, Czech Interior Minister, on an anti-immigrant demonstration held in Prague in 2015: "Gallows have no place in a democracy, the police, as an organ of a democratic state, must be aware of that." (Collage:

Czech Interior Minister suing City of Prague over opinion on gallows at demonstration

29.5.2016 10:52 The Office of the Municipal Department of Prague 1 did not make an error when it failed to assess the presence of a mock-up of a gallows during a demonstration against migration last year as constituting a misdemeanor, according to Prague City Hall, which has now reviewed the appeal of that Prague 1 decision filed by Czech Interior Minister Milan Chovanec (Czech Social Democratic Party - ČSSD), who says he will now file an administrative lawsuit over City Hall's decision. Chovanec says he believes threatening people with a gallows in public must not be allowed to be considered legal.  full story

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Romani hockey player listed in Czech edition of Forbes "30 under 30"

23.5.2016 9:12 Dominik Lakatoš, the 18-year-old hockey talent, has been chosen by the Czech edition of Forbes magazine as one of 30 young people who have reached the top of their professions before the age of 30. "At the age of two his parents put a football and a hockey stick in front of Dominik Lakatoš, he reached for the hockey stick and began his career in Kolín. In the seventh grade he began a series of big steps: Joining Liberec, playing as an adult, and his White Tigers uniform marked another jump to playing as one of the best forwards, thanks to which Liberec dominated the extraliga. Possibly the most important such advance happened at the end of last year, when the 18-year-old became the first Romani man on the Czech Republic's hockey team and played in the World Junior Championship for those 20 and younger in Finland," the Czech edition of Forbes writes about the young Romani hockey player.  full story

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Czech Govt Agency for Social Inclusion reviews local group working with Romani children after its head attacks the HateFree Culture initiative

17.5.2016 14:00 The Czech Government Agency for Social Inclusion perceives the current situation regarding remarks made by the chair of the Lampa organization, Jiří Hanzl, to the media and on social networking sites to be serious and will propose an agenda item for discussing this situation during the next meeting of its Local Partnership in the town of Ralsko. Agency Director Radek Jiránek announced the proposal in a statement released today.  full story

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Czech Jewish Community says speeches at Terezín commemoration were anti-German, nationalist and xenophobic

17.5.2016 11:38 Jewish communities in the Czech Republic say the speech given by the chair of the Czech Senate, Milan Štěch (Czech Social Democratic Party - ČSSD) during Sunday's commemoration at Terezín was anti-German and nationalist. Likewise, the speech given by the head of the Czech Freedom Fighters' Union, Jaroslav Vodička, was xenophobic because of the remarks it included about refugees.  full story

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Czech Republic: Demonstration in Prague calls on EU to stop subsidizing pig farm on Romani Holocaust site

17.5.2016 10:15 Monday, 16 May was the International Day of Romani Resistance, a day to honor the memory of the Romani victims of the Holocaust and the heroic uprising of Romani people in the Auschwitz concentration camp. On that occasion the Konexe organization held a demonstration in front of the EU House, the headquarters of the representation of the European Commission and European Parliament in the Czech Republic.  full story

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Chair of Czech Freedom Fighters' Union makes anti-refugee speech during Terezín commemoration, Chief Rabbi objects on the spot

17.5.2016 8:16 On 15 May, participants in the Terezín Commemoration Ceremony remembered the victims of Nazi persecution at the National Cemetery in front of the Small Fortress at the Terezín Memorial. The chair of the Czech Freedom Fighters' Union (Český svaz bojovníků za svobodu - ČSBS), Jaroslav Vodička, gave an anti-refugee, xenophobic speech, to which Chief Rabbi Karol Sidon gave an emotional response.  full story

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Czech Republic: Traditional commemoration of the Romani victims of Nazism next week at Lety by Písek

6.5.2016 14:11 The traditional commemorative ceremony honoring the Romani victims of Nazism at the site of the Lety Memorial will take place this year on Friday, 13 May. The ceremony is being held, as it has been every year, by the Committee for the Redress of the Roma Holocaust in the Czech Republic (VPORH), which brings together the former Romani prisoners of the Nazi concentration camps and the surviving relatives of the victims of those camps.  full story

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Prague City Hall joins Czech Government's "HateFree" campaign despite Prague City Assembly vote against it

6.5.2016 13:22 Prague City Hall has decided to join the "HateFree Culture" campaign calling for tolerance of minorities and refugees despite a decision by the Prague City Assembly not to do so. The decision to join the campaign was taken on 3 May by the Prague City Council.  full story

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Academic research finds no differences between Czech and Romani pupils' delinquent behavior

6.5.2016 9:39 According to a new study performed by the University of Kentucky in collaboration with the Institute for Psychology at the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and published in the prestigious Journal of Criminal Justice, no differences were found between Czech and Romani pupils attending the same schools when it came to alcohol use, school misconduct, or theft. The website of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic reported the publication on 2 May.  full story

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Czech Republic: Terezín Commission refuses NGO request to officially fly the LGBTQ and Romani flags during commemoration

5.5.2016 22:26 Jan Munk, the director of the Terezín Memorial who also chairs the Commission for the Preparation of the Terezín Commemoration, has refused a request from 14 organizations that the LGBTQ (rainbow) and Romani flags be flown next to the flags of various states during the 15 May event. "At the national cemetery in Terezín where this commemoration takes place, the flags of all the nations whose members fell victim to Nazi persecution and who passed through the concentration camps are flown during the commemoration ceremony. For many of those people, their distressing journey began by being transported to Terezín. To our great surprise, there is no Romani flag flown at Terezín even though, together with Jewish people, it is the Roma as a group who were affected most by Nazi persecution in the Czech lands," the organizations said in an open letter.  full story

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Czech President says he vetoed education amendment because of inclusion

5.5.2016 8:53 Czech President Miloš Zeman has vetoed an amendment to the Schools Act that would introduce mandatory school-leaving examinations in mathematics and places in preschools for two-year-old children. Jiří Ovčáček, spokesperson for the Office of the President, communicated the news to the Czech News Agency yesterday.  full story

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Czech Republic: Neo-Nazis try to provoke local Roma in Přerov during 1 May protest

2.5.2016 7:20 An assembly and march by about 30 neo-Nazis from the National Regeneration (Národní obroda - NO) group took place yesterday in Přerov. The leader of the NO, Pavel Matějný, gave a speech very similar to those he has given to previous such assemblies.
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videoCzech Republic: 1 May assemblies against refugee reception and against xenophobia, right-wing extremists verbally assault journalists

1.5.2016 17:22 Since the early morning hours of 1 May there have been peaceful demonstrations, marches, and traditional assemblies throughout the entire Czech Republic. One demonstration against tax havens and xenophobia was attended by 250 people and began on the Square of the Republic in Prague.  full story

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Czech Republic: 11 organizations call on Terezín to fly the LGBTQ and Romani flags during traditional commemoration

29.4.2016 11:22 Eleven organizations working on LGBTQ and Romani topics have called on the Terezín Memorial to fly the LGBTQ (Rainbow) flag and the Romani flag next to the flags of nations whose members fell victim to Nazi persecution. "To our great surprise, there is no Romani flag flown at Terezín even though, together with Jewish people, it is the Roma as a group who were affected most by Nazi persecution in the Czech lands. More than 90 % of the interwar Romani population did not survive racial persecution and the war itself," the organizations write in an open letter to the members of the Commission for the Organization of the Terezín commemoration, which news server is publishing here in full translation.  full story

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Czech Republic: 2 000 demonstrate against racism in Prague after neo-Nazis graffiti "HateFree" cafés

27.4.2016 15:11 On 25 April as many as 2 000 people assembled on Jiřího z Poděbrad Square in Prague to protest against the fact that several businesses and metro stations in Prague were spray-painted with neo-Nazi slogans and symbols over the weekend. Organizers of Monday's event, called "Prague is Not Afraid", wanted to demonstrate that there is no place in Czech society for Nazi ideology and violence.  full story

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Croatia: Unidentified attacker threw a grenade at a Romani preschool in Zagreb

20.4.2016 12:04 An unidentified attacker threw a hand grenade into the yard of a building in Zagreb that houses a nursery school for Romani children. The Croatian Romani Association also has its office in the building and a second preschool facility is also housed there.  full story

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Czech Republic: Seven-year anniversary of neo-Nazi arson attack on Romani family home in Vítkov

19.4.2016 12:09 Seven years ago, during the late night hours of 18 April and the early morning hours of 19 April 2009, four neo-Nazis threw Molotov cocktails into a single-family home in the town of Vítkov (Opava district), where a Romani family was living. During the subsequent blaze three people were injured, including the family's youngest daughter, Natálka, who suffered burns over 80 % of her body before she was even two years old.  full story

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Slovak President: Democratic countries face rise of extremism, decency is coming to symbolize "weakness"

18.4.2016 22:21 Democratic countries are facing a new wave of propaganda and the rise of extremist political forces, Slovak President Andrej Kiska said in his opening remarks at the international Globsec conference last weekend in Bratislava. The 11th annual Globsec was dedicated to questions of terrorism, the future of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and the referendum on Britain remaining in the EU.  full story

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Czech Republic: Romani ice hockey player Dominik Lakatoš is rookie of the year

18.4.2016 8:02 Dominik Lakatoš, a talented ice hockey player for Liberec, has been designated rookie of the year by Czech Television's annual "Hockey Player of the Season" survey. Robert Záruba announced the news during half-time of the final match of the ice hockey championship between Liberec and Sparta on 14 April and the awards ceremony will take place on 2 May.  full story

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Czech Republic: Handful of neo-Nazis demonstrate in Vítkov to raise money for racist arsonists who attacked Romani family there

17.4.2016 9:50 Just a few neo-Nazis assembled yesterday at a demonstration in the Czech town of Vítkov, where seven years ago during the late night hours of 18 April and the early morning hours of 19 April an arson attack was committed on a home occupied by a Romani family. The neo-Nazis originally invited the public to the assembly by saying they wanted to support the racist arsonists who had committed that particular attack.  full story

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