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September 21, 2019
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Another arson attack on a Roma family, Kocáb visits the scene

Zdiby, 28.5.2009 9:47, (ROMEA)

On Sunday evening, arsonists attacked another Roma family in the village of Zdiby near Prague. Two Molotov cocktails were thrown at their home. Czech Television reported no injuries. The family succeeded in putting out the fire in time. Zdeněk Chalupa, spokesperson for the Praha-venkov district police, told ČTK the damages were initially estimated at CZK 10 000.

Czech Human Rights and Minorities Minister Michael Kocáb visited the family yesterday. "The minister is going to Zdiby to speak with the family and determine the circumstances of the attack," his spokesperson Lejla Abbásová told iDNES.cz just before 20:00 yesterday.

Police are investigating. The unidentified perpetrator is suspected of reckless endangerment. "We can neither confirm nor deny that this was a racially motivated act," Chalupa said.

The perpetrator threw bottles containing an unknown fuel along one wall of the house, causing an electrical wiring unit to explode and destroying several pairs of shoes beneath it. Police officers sent the evidence gathered at the scene to detectives for expert analysis. They are evaluating clues and interrogating witnesses.

"It was targeted, one below the window and one below the door so no one could escape," family member Martin Rybín told Czech Television. "My brother-in-law was asleep with his wife and children upstairs and heard something, so he ran outside, saw the flames, called me and we started putting it out."

Ms Rybínová's physically disabled grandson usually sleeps in the room closest to the door. At the time of the attack he was in the hospital for medical treatment. "What if our little boy had been sleeping here, he can't run, he's in a wheelchair. Another Rom would have been set on fire," Margita Rybínová told Czech Television.

Five weeks ago there was a similar attack in Vítkov na Opavsku. Three Molotov cocktails were thrown into a home where a two-year-old girl and her parents were burned. The girl is still in serious condition in the hospital. Police have not yet found the perpetrators, but they have found the car which passed through the street just before the fire broke out, according to witnesses. Police also know the names of those sitting in the car, but there is no evidence that they had anything to do with the arson. For the time being it is still unclear whether that attack was racially motivated.

Gwendolyn Albert, ROMEA, ROMEA, CTK, CT, iDNES.cz, tranlsated by Gwendolyn Albert
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