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March 20, 2018
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Romani musician Ida Kelarová, Czech Republic. (PHOTO:  Miret, z.s.)
Romani musician Ida Kelarová, Czech Republic. (PHOTO: Miret, z.s.)

Czech Philharmonic will continue collaboration with Romani musician Ida Kelarová

20.3.2018 16:03 Ida Kelarová, the choir director and jazz singer, tells the Czech News Agency in an interview that the recent recording of the Romani children's choir Čhavorenge is both the high point and just the beginning of the choir's further collaboration with the Czech Philharmonic, which was initiated through their joint summer arts school. "It can be considered that new opportunities will open up with this CD. We may even get invited abroad," she said.  full story

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UN: Slovakia must act to eliminate racism against Roma

19.3.2018 11:15 In response to a submission made by the European Roma Rights Centre late last year of their concerns about pervasive racism in Slovakia, the UN has endorsed such concerns and has made recommendations to Slovakia as to how the country should progress towards being more accepting of the Roma, as well as of individuals who are Muslim or of African descent.  full story

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Czech MP from the far right is a trafficker in poverty

19.3.2018 8:29 Lubomír Volný, an MP in Tomio Okamura's "Freedom and Direct Democracy" (SPD) movement and a regional assembly member, has been renting properties for five years to the same impoverished families that the SPD customarily labels as "inadaptables" or "parasites", making money from the very welfare system that the SPD otherwise rejects as costly and dysfunctional. Public broadcaster Czech Television has reported on his business dealings in detail during an episode of Reportéři ČT that aired on 12 March.  full story

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Czech anti-immigration activist launches book on the premises of the lower house, ultra-conservatives support it

18.3.2018 10:19 Petr Hampl, the anti-immigration and anti-Islam activist and sociologist, has launched his new book about Islam and the alleged "Islamicization" of society on the premises of the Czech Chamber of Deputies. Hampl is known for having publicly expressed support for the father who filmed himself urging his preschool-aged daughter to hit a pillow with a baseball bat while pretending she was hitting a Muslim or a Romani person, and his book launch was attended by the son of former Czech President Václav Klaus and by other MPs.  full story

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videoCzech demonstration against doubting the genocide of the Roma, hatred and racism

17.3.2018 22:07 Today at 13:00 in Prague there was a demonstration against doubting the Holocaust and its Romani victims, against racism, and against violence that was attended by several dozen Romani people and other opponents of the dissemination of hatred. In addition to speeches, the names of the victims of racial violence in the Czech Republic were read and the Romani anthem was sung by the Bengas band.  full story

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videoCzech Republic: Pigs finally leave Romani genocide site

17.3.2018 8:28 On Thursday, 14 March 2018, at 8:18 AM a truck drove away with the last 150 pigs from the farm in Lety that is located on the site of the WWII-era concentration camp for Roma at Lety. The AGPI firm, which owns the pig farm, transported the 330 animals left that day away from the grounds.  full story

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Czech Labor Minister praises container housing in Romani ghetto

17.3.2018 6:46 Czech Radio reports that outgoing Czech Labor Minister Jaroslava Němcová of the ANO movement likes the container type of housing in the Poschla locality of the town of Vsetín into which former Mayor Jiří Čunek removed Romani residents from the town center in 2006. The minister said the dislocation of the Romani residents had been the correct "solution".  full story

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TODAY!!! Romani people to demonstrate against racism on 17 March in Prague's Klárov Park

10.3.2018 8:08 Romani people and others opposed to the dissemination of hatred in the Czech Republic will be protesting racism, violence, and the doubting of the Holocaust and its Romani victims on Saturday, 17 March 2018 in Prague at Klárov Park, the grassy area across from the Malostranská metro station. In addition to speeches, the names of the victims of racist violence in the Czech Republic will be read aloud, the international Romani anthem will be sung, and the Romani band Bengas will perform.  full story

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Czech Justice Minister: State has no solution for social exclusion, Romani children not on an equal footing with others

13.3.2018 6:18 Speaking in an interview for ROMEA TV, Czech Justice Minister Robert Pelikán (ANO) said the state has not yet managed to introduce even a hint of a solution for addressing the problems that arise in socially excluded localities. "This is a big problem for the people living in such localities, but it is also a problem for those living nearby," he said.  full story

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Germany: Neo-Nazi terrorists get multiple-year sentences

12.3.2018 21:04 Members of the extremist right-wing group Freital who committed several bomb attacks against their political opponents and refugees have been sentenced to between four and 10 years in prison by a court in Dresden. Seven men and one woman used fireworks bought in the Czech Republic to prepare the bombs.  full story

Mihaela Dragan (left) and Zita Moldovan play two village neighbours in the play “Who killed Szomna Grancsa?”, Jilava village, Romania on July 21, 2017. photo by Paul Arne Wagner

Feminist Roma theater company celebrates the abolition of Roma slavery in Romania

5.3.2018 11:34 February 20th marks the liberation of the Roma population from slavery in Romania. For 500 years, most of the Roma in Romania were enslaved by Orthodox Monasteries and the boyars, who were the Romanian aristocracy. In commemoration of this event the feminist Roma theater company, Giuvlipen, presented Cine a omorât-o pe Szomna Grancsa? (Who killed Szomna Grancsa?) on February 23rd in Bucharest as a reminder that racism against the Romani people continues to persist.  full story

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Czech Justice Minister now in charge of human rights agenda, but will he join the next Government?

12.3.2018 7:08 The Friday edition of the daily Lidové noviny (LN) reported that outgoing Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) is rumored to have agreed with Czech President Miloš Zeman that Czech Justice Minister Robert Pelikán (ANO), currently entrusted with the human rights agenda, will not be in the next Government. LN reported that he will be replaced by Deputy Interior Minister Petr Mlsna, who is a lawyer.  full story

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Czech Republic: Romani broadcaster and educator Hilda Pášová has passed away

11.3.2018 7:01 On Monday 5 March the Romani broadcaster, educator, politician and author Hilda Pášová passed away after a long illness at the age of 76. Funeral services will be held for her tomorrow, Monday, 12 March, at 11 AM in the Chapel of St. Wenceslaus (sv. Václava) at the cemetery in the Prague quarter of Vinohrady.

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Czech MPs refuse to approve program of extraordinary session to remove vice-chair accused of denying the Romani Holocaust

10.3.2018 7:24 The chair of the "Freedom and Direct Democracy" (SPD) party, Czech MP Tomio Okamura, has survived an attempt to dismiss him from his function as vice-chair of the Chamber of Deputies as his fellow legislators decided a second time not to vote on the issue. During two separate votes the lower house failed to adopt the agenda of the extraordinary session convened for 7 March to discuss Okamura's remarks about the concentration camp at Lety.  full story

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Czech Republic: Last pigs to leave farm on Romani genocide site 14 March

9.3.2018 21:24 The Czech News Agency reports that Jan Čech, vice-chair of the Agpi board, said today that the last pigs will leave the grounds of the farm at Lety u Písku on 14 March. There are currently 330 pigs left in the facility.  full story

Czech and Slovak Victims of Coercive Sterilization Await Justice

8.3.2018 8:21 In November 2017, nine governments of the United Nations urged the Czech Republic to provide compensation to women – in particular Romani women and women with disabilities – coercively sterilized between the 1960s and 2004. The Czech government is expected to provide an answer to these Governments in the UN Human Rights Council in March.  full story

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Czech research finds educators believe excessive numbers of pupils in classes are barrier to inclusion

7.3.2018 18:14 According to a survey of the opinions of principals and teachers about the impacts of the reforms for common education (amendments about inclusion), after the first year of implementing the reforms in practice what has most improved is financial support for educating children with special needs. Principals of mainstream primary schools, however, continue to grapple with a lack of assistants and special educators.  full story

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Slovak ultra-right MP tried for extremism after making xenophobic remarks about Roma

6.3.2018 7:19 The trial began on Monday, 26 February of Slovak MP Milan Mazurek from the ultra-right "Kotleba-People's Party Our Slovakia" (LSNS) for his xenophobic remarks about Romani people, among other matters. Although the MP faces possible prison time and the loss of his seat in the legislature, he refused to testify in court.  full story

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Czech lower house to hold extraordinary session on proposal to dismiss vice-chair for doubting Holocaust of Roma

5.3.2018 20:23 Czech MPs will convene on Wednesday for an extraordinary session on a proposal to dismiss Czech MP Tomio Okamura ("Freedom and Direct Democracy" - SPD) from his post as vice-chair of the Chamber of Deputies. Czech MP Jan Bartošek, head of the Christian Democratic faction in the lower house, announced the news at a press conference on Friday.  full story

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Czech PM to attend commemorative ceremony to honor Holocaust victims who are Romani

5.3.2018 19:30 On Wednesday, 7 March, a commemoration will be held of the 75th anniversary of the first mass transport of Romani people from the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia
(transported from Brno) to the concentration and extermination camp of Auschwitz II-Birkenau. The event will be attended by Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, Czech Culture Minister Ilja Šmíd, other Government representatives, ambassadors, and representatives of cultural institutions.  full story

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