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February 19, 2017
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Zdeněk Ryšavý


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On 17 February 2017 Slovak Police arrested a 24-year-old woman for disseminating a video recording of herself setting a copy of the Quran on fire after tearing it to pieces, urinating on it, and making threats against Muslims. (PHOTO:  YouTube.com)
On 17 February 2017 Slovak Police arrested a 24-year-old woman for disseminating a video recording of herself setting a copy of the Quran on fire after tearing it to pieces, urinating on it, and making threats against Muslims. (PHOTO: YouTube.com)

Slovak Police charge woman with threatening Muslims and Roma through Facebook, she faces six years in prison

18.2.2017 14:21 Slovak Police arrested a 24-year-old woman yesterday who disseminated a video recording of herself through social networks setting fire to a copy of the Quran after tearing it to pieces, urinating on it, and making threats against Muslims. The Slovak woman faces charges of extremism and other felonies.  full story

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Czech Police close investigation into arson attack by neo-Nazis on the Klinika Social Center

16.2.2017 10:40 Prague Police have completed their investigation of the arson attack committed last year against the Klinika Social Center in the Žižkov quarter of Prague 3. The criminal case has been shelved because police failed to ascertain enough facts to begin felony prosecution of a specific suspect.  full story

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Czech Government withdraws bill to strengthen Public Defender of Rights

3.2.2017 6:20 Because MPs have been unable to reach agreement, the Czech Government has withdrawn the amendment it previously submitted to the Chamber of Deputies about the Public Defender of Rights that would have beefed up the powers of that authority. Instead, Czech Human Rights and Legislation Minister Jan Chvojka (Czech Social Democratic Party - ČSSD) will prepare a separate bill that will only empower the office to monitor the situation of people living with disabilities.  full story

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Central and East European NGOs critique EU Member States barring asylum-seekers

31.1.2017 9:49 Some EU Member States in Central and Eastern Europe are making it difficult for persons fleeing war to seek asylum on their territories. They have complicated the asylum-seekers' access to protection by increasing border checks, erecting physical barriers on their borders and undertaking various police procedures to deter them.  full story

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Civil society members of Czech Gov't Council on Roma Affairs visit Brno to discuss policy with Romani community

29.1.2017 8:36 Members of the Czech Government Council for Roma Minority Affairs and government staffers visited nonprofit organizations in Brno working with Romani people last Tuesday and so-called socially excluded localities on Brněnská, Cejl and Francouzská Streets. The visit was one of the first that the members and staffers of the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic will be gradually undertaking during 2017.  full story

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Czech investigation into death of Romani man in a pizzeria will announce findings at press conference

27.1.2017 14:03 News server Lidovky.cz reports that the investigation into the death of Miroslav Demeter, Jr., who died on 18 October 2016 in a pizzeria in Žatec, is coming to an end and the findings will be announced at a joint press conference of the District State Prosecutor and the Czech Police as soon as possible. The family of the deceased has filed a complaint about the procedure undertaken by the District State Prosecutor in Louny, which is supervising the investigation, and the complaint is being reviewed by that same state prosecutor's office, as it also concerned the police procedure being supervised.  full story

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Czech broadcast regulator: Prima TV's coverage of Iraqi refugees (and itself) broke the law

16.1.2017 9:35 Last year TV Prima broke the law through its news broadcasting about the integration of refugees from Iraq into the Czech Republic, according to the Council on Radio and Television Broadcasting (Rada pro rozhlasové a televizní vysílání - RRTV). A total of four news reports broadcast in its main news program, "FTV Prima News", were found to have manipulated viewers and to have not been objective.  full story

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Czech Republic: Number of Romani pupils educated according to reduced standards is practically unchanged

6.1.2017 12:41 The number of Romani children educated according to reduced standards remains practically unchanged this school year compared to last, according to a report about the "qualified estimates" of the number of Romani children in the primary schools published yesterday by the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport. "In the primary schools, according to current estimates, 85.4 % of Romani pupils are being educated within the framework of the mainstream standards, 12.8 % of Romani pupils are being educated in programs designed for pupils with 'mild mental disability', and the remaining 1.8 % of Romani pupils are being educated according to the Framework Education Program for Special Primary School, designed for a more profound degree of mental disability," says a press release from the ministry.  full story

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Poland: Attempted robbery results in death, racist unrest

3.1.2017 7:14 Polish Police have chargd a 26-year-old Tunisian man with murder after the stabbing death of a 21-year-old Polish man on New Year's Eve sparked racial unrest in the town of Elk in the northeast of the country. Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza reported yesterday that police arrested 28 people who were involved in the unrest on Sunday.  full story

Czech Center against Terrorism and Hybrid Threats will refute disinformation online

3.1.2017 6:39 On 1 January the Center against Terrorism and Hybrid Threats (Centrum proti terorismu a hybridním hrozbám) was created at the Czech Interior Ministry and will be involved in, among other things, combating domestic and foreign disinformation and propaganda, especially online. Czech President Miloš Zeman said at the close of his 2016 Christmas message that he was concerned the Center would censor the Internet.  full story

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Czech Human Rights Minister to focus on buying pig farm on Romani Holocaust site and employment of ghetto residents in 2017

2.1.2017 9:54 Czech Human Rights Minister Jan Chvojka (Czech Social Democratic Party - ČSSD) has said that he would like to focus on addressing the situation of people living in ghettos by increasing their employment rates and their options for resolving their indebtedness during 2017. By the time the elections take place this autumn he expects to have addressed the law on social enterprises and to have completed negotiations about buying the pig farm in Lety by Písek that stands on the site of a former concentration camp for Romani people.
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videoSlovak President addresses anti-Romani sentiment in New Year's Day speech

2.1.2017 9:28 Not all Romani people are parasites and not all Muslims are potential terrorists, Slovak President Andrej Kiska pointed out in his New Year's address yesterday. Kiska highlighted that people are now willing to tolerate the hatred, nonsense and vulgarities spreading on the Internet and online social networks.  full story

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Czech artist writes a guide to the Brno "Bronx", says Romani people "uninterested" in education

27.12.2016 22:18 The Brno-based artist Kateřina Šedá and a team of collaborators have put together a "guide" to Brno's so-called "Bronx" neighborhood and she has given an interview to news server iDNES.cz in which she criticizes the life of Romani residents there. The artist is quoted as saying in the interview that local Romani people are not interested in education and that their children's aim in life is to draw unemployment benefit because that is what they see adults doing in their families.  full story

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Czech President attacks some welfare recipients, rejects immigrants, says Interior Ministry is "censoring" the Internet

27.12.2016 19:51 Czech President Miloš Zeman has sent his traditional Christmas message from the presidential residence in Lány, expressing appreciation for the good state of the economy being reflected in Czechs' standard of living and criticizing low levels of public investment, alleging that subsidies for renewable energy and some welfare benefits are a drag on the economy. Zeman also rejected the Czech Republic voluntarily accepting immigrants, whom he believes could spawn terrorist attacks.  full story

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Czech court sentences Romani man to prison for racist abuse while mourning a relative's death

22.12.2016 4:34 The District Court in Louny has sentenced 41-year-old Miroslav Fedák to eight months in prison for defamation of a nation and race. During a commemoration of the young Romani man who died in a pizzeria in October, Fedák shouted racist, vulgar abuse.  full story

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HOAX: Video from Prague spreads through Facebook alleging "Islamic refugees" were caught trying to rape a girl

20.12.2016 23:57 On 14 December the administrators of a Canadian website called "Never Again Canada" posted video footage to their Facebook profile that originally came from the Czech Republic and has been viewed 900 000 times, shared 14 000 times, and received 5 000 reactions as of 20 December. The footage shows an argument about methamphetamine followed by an assault on a young woman in Prague.  full story

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Czech Republic marks five years since the death of President Václav Havel

19.12.2016 0:53 Several events taking place around the Czech Republic today commemorated the death of Czech President Václav Havel five years ago. In Prague there will be readings from his plays, a requiem mass at St. Vitus Cathedral, and an evening march to Prague Castle.  full story

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Facebook wants to combat online hoaxes through expert fact-checking

16.12.2016 21:50 The Facebook social networking site is designing many instruments for preventing the dissemination of fake news or hoaxes, according to company vice-president John Hegeman, who announced the decision in New York. Facebook users will have the option of flagging untrue news items more easily than they do now, and facts that are called into question will then be verified by teams of experts including the ABC News television station in the USA and the Associated Press wire service.  full story

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2016 Roma Spirit Awards in the Czech Republic: Ctibor Nečas, R-Mosty, Evangelical Academy, Richard Samko and Olga Fečová

15.12.2016 19:21 The 2016 Roma Spirit Awards for aid to the Romani minority and efforts at good coexistence were won this year by the R-Mosty company, the Evangelical Academy, and Czech Television journalist Richard Samko. The award for cultural contribution went to teaching assistant Olga Fečová, while the scholar Ctibor Nečas won in the Individual category.  full story

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Macedonia: The Queen of Romani Music, Esma Redžepova, has passed away

15.12.2016 2:14 Esma Redžepova, who was acknowledged worldwide as the Queen of Romani Music, passed away on the morning of 11 December in Skopje, Macedonia at the age of 73. The hospital where the singer was being treated announced her death.  full story

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