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December 12, 2019
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Romani singer received thousands of hateful verbal assaults, Czech Police charging two people

1.8.2017 16:48
Fans of the xenophobic Ortel band sent death threats to Romani singer Radek Banga in 2016. (Collage:  Romea.cz)
Fans of the xenophobic Ortel band sent death threats to Romani singer Radek Banga in 2016. (Collage: Romea.cz)

News server Lidovky.cz reports that the Czech Police have discovered the identities of just two of the aggressors who sent thousands of racist messages to the Romani singer Radek Banga after he publicly protested a pop music award given to the hate-inciting Ortel band. The police announcement was made eight months from the moment he received his first hate mail.

One of the aggressors has been charged and another already faces indictment. Both face up to three years in prison if convicted.

One 18-year-old man from Kladno is charged with displaying sympathy for a movement aimed at suppressing human rights and freedoms. The youth allegedly belongs to the hooligans who are fans of the Sparta football team and who listen to Ortel for its hateful, xenophobic lyrics.

A SAMPLE OF THE RACIST VERBAL ATTACKS MADE ONLINE AGAINST RADEK BANGA

Klimeš Jarda: "If you don't like nationalists, go back to your own country." (Editor's Note: Banga is already in his "own country")

Jirka Líbal: "Go to the hole you gypsy“

Vašík Nedbal: "Gypsies to the gas chambers“

David Racz: "Banga, you gypsy sponger, die already you vagabond fucker"

Petr Jenda: "Fucking gypsy … Lord God, let's start shooting them already, the vermin are leeching off us everywhere"

Adam Rezáč: "Die by morning you black filth"

"The indictment was received by the District Court in Kladno last week. The youth did express regret for his behavior during the investigation, but if he is found guilty, then he could be sentenced to as long as three years in prison," Nina Brožová, the lead prosecutor from the District State Prosecutor's office, told news server Lidovky.cz.

"This was one crime consisting of inapproporiate commentaries posted in response to an article by Radek Banga published on Facebook explaining why he left the auditorium during the Czech Nightingale award ceremony when the Ortel band was given a prize," the prosecutor confirmed to Lidovky.cz. Since spring the police have also been searching for a man from Prostějov who faces charges of committing violence against a group and its individual members.

While the media had previously reported on the police search, the police themselves never announced that the crime in question was the online attack on Banga. "That matter is still under investigation," Naděžda Kezniklová, head of the state prosecutors in Prostějov, told Lidovky.cz.

The man being sought reportedly committed similar threats in the past. In 2013 he was accused of sending a threatening email to former Czech MP Jana Černochová, but claimed that the message had been sent by somebody who stole his identity.

The flood of hateful commentaries, curses and threats filled up Banga's Facebook profile immediately after the award results for the "Golden Nightingale 2016" survey were announced. Two "Silver Nightingales" were won by Tomáš Ortel of the xenophhobic Ortel band.

Banga is the frontman for the Gipsy.cz group and faced racist commentaries and threats from fans of the xenophobic Ortel band after he published his statement at the end of last November. Disinformation servers and extremist ones then began an online campaign against him.

People also expressed appreciation and support for Banga's stance on his Facebook profile. News server Romea.cz, the first media outlet to publish the singer's opinions immediately after the award winners were announced, also became a target of threats.

Banga was given the František Kriegel Award for civic bravery in April by the Charter 77 Foundation. "It is necessary to stand up to the dissemination of hatred in society and I am very glad that I am not alone in standing up to it. There are many people who have been standing up against xenophobia, homophobia, and the spreading of other hatreds," Banga said when receiving that award.

dm, ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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