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December 5, 2016
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Zdeněk Ryšavý

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This clip from a documentary film by Czech filmmaker Vít Klusák shows people attending a concert by the xenophobic Ortel band giving the Nazi salute. (PHOTO:  Czech Television)
This clip from a documentary film by Czech filmmaker Vít Klusák shows people attending a concert by the xenophobic Ortel band giving the Nazi salute. (PHOTO: Czech Television)

videoCzech documentary shows illegal Nazi salute being given at concert by xenophobic Ortel band

5.12.2016 8:36 Last night as part of its "168 Hours" program, Czech Television broadcast footage from a concert by the Ortel band in the Czech town of Frýdek-Místek during which some fans give the Nazi salute and shout the Nazi greeting "Sieg heil". The footage was captured by documentary filmmaker Vít Klusák.  full story

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Czech actor Roman Zach supports Romani celebrity's stance against neo-Nazi band on live tv broadcast

5.12.2016 6:29 More performers in the Czech Republic have been publicly expressing their support for the Romani singer Radek Banga. During the popular music competition "Český slavík" (Czech Nightingale), Banga took a stand against the xenophobic band Ortel when it won second place for a second year in a row.  full story

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Canada: Czechoslovak Roma express support for Romani celebrity and condemn Czech support for xenophobic band

3.12.2016 11:47 The Association of Czechoslovak Roma in Canada says it is not possbile for a xenophobic band to be part of Czech show business and receive public support from Czech celebrities. Romani emigrés living Canada have taken a stand in favor of the singer Radek Banga, who left in protest during the "Czech Nightingale" awards ceremony together with several other performers after the xenophobic music group Ortel won awards.  full story

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Czech Gov't Council on Romani Affairs calls on public figures to speak out against hate and xenophobia

2.12.2016 7:29 The civil society members of the Czech Government Council on Romani Affairs have called on public figures to take a clear stand against the xenophobic music group Ortel, which is spreading hatred and has received an award as part of a popular music survey. "The prizewinning band has a clear connection to the extreme right and espouses ideas that are incompatible with the basic legal documents of the Czech Republic by supporting hatred against various groups of people. It is not possible to express support of any kind for such performers," reads their declaration, which news server publishes here in full translation:  full story

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Deputy Mayor of Prague proposes Romani celebrity receive award from the Czech capital for his brave stance against hate music

2.12.2016 7:00 Deputy Mayor of Prague Petra Kolínská (Green Party) proposed on Tuesday that the Romani singer Radek Banga be given the Award of the Capital City of Prague for his many years of activity aiming to prevent risky behavior in youth and for his open stance against hate music. "The atmosphere in society has become tense recently, the language of hatred is beginning to become more and more the norm, even outside of online social networks," she posted to her Facebook profile.  full story

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

EU FRA: 80 % of Roma in Europe at risk of poverty, 85 % of Roma in the Czech Republic are discriminated against

1.12.2016 11:09 The lives of Romani people throughout the European Union (EU) are being destroyed by omnipresent deprivation. A new report by the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) of the EU has found that Romani families are living excluded from society in shocking conditions and Romani children with low educational attainment do not have much hope of a better future.  full story

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Czech Republic: More musicians criticize popularity of xenophobic band

28.11.2016 16:01 Criticism of the Czech Nightingale (Český slavík) popular music survey has begun to increase after the xenophobic band Ortel came in second place. Romani musician Radek Banga, whose stage name is Gipsy, is being joined by other performers who are criticizing the results of the survey.  full story

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Romani women gather in Czech capital to discuss how their position has changed during the last 50 years

28.11.2016 6:59 More than 60 Romani women from all over the Czech Republic will gather today in the Hotel Amarilis in Prague for a conference of the JILEHA 2016 project, which is run by the Manushe Romani women's group. "These women are aiding other women to come out from the shadows, to overcome the obstacles in their lives and to improve the way they view themselves. Women's solidarity is the motor of the entire project, which supports the initiative of these extraordinary ordinary women and makes it possible for them to contribute to changing the lives of those around them," said project coordinator Martina Horváthová.  full story

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Romani celebrity walks out in protest after neo-Nazi singer and his band win second place in Czech music awards

28.11.2016 6:16 The results of the "Czech Nightingale" (Český slavík) audience appreciation poll were announced Saturday night in a live broadcast from the Karlín Musical Theater in Prague. Tomáš Ortel of the xenophobic band Ortel won two "silver nightingales", the second-place award in two categories..  full story

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Czech Republic: Museum of Romani Culture to commemorate ROMFEST 1990 and award its own 2016 prize

23.11.2016 7:00 The Museum of Romani Culture in Brno, Czech Republic invites the public to its commemorative evening dedicated to a key event in Romani culture, the ROMFEST 1990 festival, which was held 26 years ago. "We want to remind people of this event through an evening of musical witness for the public at large, an event that will take place on 24 November at 18:00 at the KS Omega - Musilka cultural center in Brno-Husovice," Sabina Coufalová of the Museum of Romani Culture told news server  full story

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Responding to refusals from nominees, Czech foundation says Roma Spirit prize is from the public, not the state

22.11.2016 7:26 The Michael Kocáb Foundation has issued a statement reminding the community and the country that the Roma Spirit Award is a public prize expressing respect for the work of specific individuals that contributes to good coexistence between Romani people and other inhabitants of the Czech Republic. "The rejection of such public acknowledgment is problematic for many reasons. If the reason nominees do not want to participate and receive the award is their dissatisfaction with the political situation in the Czech Republic, we would like to point out that the Roma Spirit prize does not bear responsibility for the situation and that such a gesture will most probably be welcomed only by those who speak out against minorities," reads a statement issued yesterday by the foundation.  full story

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Czech Republic: Romani entrepreneur employs almost all Romani workers in cafeteria

21.11.2016 7:22 A cafeteria that is staffed almost exclusively by Romani workers opened two weeks ago in the Czech town of Trmice (Ústecký Region). Romani entrepreneur Martin Bajger is running it and plans to expand its services.  full story

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video30 000 assemble on Prague's Wenceslas Square to celebrate 17 November - VIDEO

18.11.2016 19:58 As many as 30 000 people set off alarm clocks yesterday on Prague's Wenceslas Square during the celebrations of the anniversary of the beginning of the fall of state socialism in the former Czechoslovakia. The alarm clocks were supposed to symbolically wake civil society from its sleep, according to organizers of the "happening".  full story

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Supporters of Czech President march through Prague chanting slogans against Islam, their opponents force them to re-route

18.11.2016 18:56 Yesterday roughly 300 people assembled in Prague to support Czech President Miloš Zeman and express their disagreement with Czech migration policy, which they view as endangering the country. They also criticized Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Czech Social Democratic Party - ČSSD) and other members of Government, the late President Havel, intellectuals and students.  full story

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Marcel Ščuka: Romani man's corpse was not properly refrigerated, Czech Police allegedly lost his clothes

13.11.2016 19:46 Marcel Ščuka, a Romani community member who attended Friday's meeting with Czech Interior Minister Milan Chovanec regarding the death of Miroslav Demeter, a young Romani man, on 18 October in a pizzeria in the town of Žatec, recapitulated what happened at the meeting by broadcasting live through his Facebook profile and revealed some information about the ongoing investigation. Ščuka also called for the establishment of a new Romani political movement.  full story

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Czech Republic: Romani Holocaust survivors' association chair says he has no reason to doubt pig farm will go

11.11.2016 17:28 At the beginning of this week, the Czech Government approved a proposal to close the operations of the pig farm that is now located on the site of the former concentration camp at Lety by Písek and has commissioned assessments of the valuation of the land. News server has asked Čeněk Růžička, a member of the Czech Government Council on Romani Community Affairs and chair of the Committee for the Redress of the Romani Holocaust in the Czech Republic (VPORH), how he views recent developments around the pig farm, which he has long striven to remove.  full story

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Green Party says Czech Interior Minister must guarantee proper investigation of tragic incident in Žatec

10.11.2016 18:57 The Green Party in the Czech Republic believes the Interior Minister must guarantee the state will take an interest in properly investigating last month's incident in a pizzeria in the town of Žatec during which a 26-year-old Romani man died. There are suspicions that the intervention performed by uniformed officers was not proportionate in terms of the use of force.  full story

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Czech Radio marks International Romani Language Day by premiering radio drama based on a Romani fairytale

8.11.2016 9:57 Czech Radio's "Vltava" station, which focuses on culture, broadcast a segment dedicated to the Romani language and literature on 5 November at 9 AM as part of its "Weekend Edition" program. At 10 AM the station broadcast the premiere of a dramatized reading of the Romani fairytale "About the clever (but deceitful thief) Bajcúr".  full story

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Czech Republic: Funeral of young Romani man who died after a scuffle in a pizzeria last month

8.11.2016 9:16 Yesterday more than 200 people attended the funeral, held just after noon in Lenešice near Louny, for the young Romani man who died in mid-October during an incident in a pizzeria in the town of Žatec. The situation was monitored by police, who were also on patrol in Žatec at the scene of the unfortunate incident.  full story

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Czech Gov't approves plan to close pig farm at Lety, wants estimate of land value

7.11.2016 15:33 The Czech Government has approved a plan to close the industrial pig farm in the vicinity of the remembrance site for Romani victims of the Holocaust at Lety by Písek. Spokesperson Martin Ayrer announced the news on Twitter without further details.  full story

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