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February 20, 2017
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Czech Republic

Radek Jiránek, director of the Czech Government Agency for Social Inclusion (2015). (PHOTO:  Czech Television)
Radek Jiránek, director of the Czech Government Agency for Social Inclusion (2015). (PHOTO: Czech Television)

Czech Govt Agency for Social Inclusion director says both housing and social workers necessary to social housing

20.2.2017 9:10 A conference on social housing was held on Tuesday, 14 February in Prague's Lichtenstein Palace by the Czech Government Agency for Social Inclusion in collaboration with the Salvation Army of the Czech Republic. Its aim was to present examples of practical experiences with developing and launching social housing systems in the Czech Republic.  full story

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Anniversary of the death of Helena Biháriová, one of the first victims of racial murder in post-1989 Czech Republic

20.2.2017 8:32 The date of 15 February is a tragic anniversary of one of the series of murders of Romani people that appeared in Czech and Slovak society during the 1990s as a new phenomenon. In 1998 Helena Biháriová, a mother of four, was drowned in the flooded Elbe River after encountering two drunken youths from Klatovy, Petr Klazar and Jiří Neff, sympathizers of the skinheads movement who used physical and verbal aggression to drive her into the water.  full story

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Czech Police investigating anonymous antisemitic letter in Prostějov

20.2.2017 6:26 Police are investigating the circumstances of an anonymous letter full of antisemitic insults and vulgarities that has been sent to different people in Prostějov in connection with the sometimes passionate discussion about how to arrange for dignified remembrance at the site of the former Jewish cemetery near the local school. Representatives of an American philanthropic foundation, Kolel Damesek Eliezer, which is attempting to rehabilitate the Jewish cemetery, are planning to report a crime because of the anonymous letter that has been addressed to bureaucrats and residents of Prostějov.  full story

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Son of former Czech President disseminates photo online with misleading Islamophobic commentary

19.2.2017 19:51 Václav Klaus, Jr. published a photograph from Iran on his Facebook profile on 15 February that purported to show women in Iran having to sit on the floor while the men around them were seated on chairs, commenting on it as follows: "A picture is sometimes worth more than a thousand words. This is (now this weekend) the beginning of the Women's World Chess Championship in Tehran. This is about female journalists - I don't know whether Iranian or from abroad. This is a decent country, uncontrolled street violence does not happen here. They are not far from developing a nuclear weapon. Despite that, their idea that a woman is considered the kind of being that is closer to a dog - doesn't that give you mixed emotions?"  full story

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Czech Republic: The English College in Prague fundraises for Romani student scholarship

18.2.2017 10:41 Students attending The English College in Prague are holding a benefit concert for the school's Václav Havel Scholarship in collaboration with the National Gallery on 22 February at Prague's St. Agnes Convent to raise money for a Romani student to study at the prestigious secondary school. "We study at a school where our accent, nationality, religion, sexual orientation or skin color do not matter. We appreciate that, and therefore we would like to make it possible for another Romani pupil to study together with us," the invitation to the event, authored by the students, reads.  full story

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Czech state chooses firm to appraise pig farm on concentration camp site

18.2.2017 9:21 The Czech Culture Ministry has chosen a firm to produce an expert appraisal of the value of the pig farm at Lety u Písku located on the site of what was once a concentration camp. The B.S.O. expert institute of Prague will produce it and is being paid CZK 228 690 (EUR 8 463) inclusive of VAT to do so.  full story

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Czech NGO working with Roma says state is punishing the poor and motivating them through fear

17.2.2017 14:51 From the beginning of February an amendment to the law on aid to those in material distress has been in effect in the Czech Republic. In addition to other matters, the amendment establishes
that the aid provided to those in material distress (the minimum subsistence allowance) shall be reduced by roughly one-third for people who have been unemployed for one year and have not performed at least 20 hours of unremunerated work per month for their local authority's public works department.  full story

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Czech Republic: Non-Romani men fighting "about a girl" misreported by media as neo-Nazi brawl with Roma

17.2.2017 7:53 Online news server udalosti112.cz broadcast reporting including video footage on 12 February claiming that a street battle had erupted in the town of Litvínov, Czech Republic between neo-Nazis and Romani people, writing about a "battle of a group of skinheads with local Roma" that "employed local and state police and emergency medical responders". News server Romea.cz was then contacted by an eyewitness to the incident who said it was not a clash between right-wing extremists and Romani people, but an ordinary "pub brawl" among non-Romani locals involving a dispute "about a girl".  full story

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Czech court overturns acquittal in radical Islamic book distribution case

17.2.2017 7:04 The Prague Municipal Court, meeting in closed session, has overturned the acquittal of the former chair of the Muslim Community of Prague, Vladimír Sáňka, and returned the case to the District Court for Prague 1 to be reopened. Prague Municipal Court spokesperson Markéta Puci provided the information in response to a query by the Czech News Agency on 9 February.  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 Justice Minister will not discipline state prosecutor accused of protecting racists

16.2.2017 9:10 Nine months ago the online daily Deník Referendum (DR) filed a motion with the Czech Justice Ministry for disciplinary proceedings to begin against Prague 1 District Attorney JUDr. Zdeňka Galková. Czech Justice Minister Robert Pelikán rejected that motion on 7 February.  full story

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Czech Human Rights Minister meets with management of Hate Free project to discuss its future

16.2.2017 8:21 Czech Human Rights Minister Jan Chvojka (Czech Social Democratic Party - ČSSD) met on 7 February with the leadership of the Czech Government's campaign against hate violence, Hate Free Culture. The three-year project, scheduled to end in April, combats hate speech and xenophobia as well as refuting fake news and hoaxes, mainly in the online environment.
 full story

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Senegalese model featured on Lidl ad in Czech Republic hired by company importing mobile phones

16.2.2017 7:22 The Lion Mobile company's latest advertising campaign in the Czech Republic features Senegalese model Alpha Dia, whose image in a flier for the Lidl retail chain sparked many racist commentaries on Faceboook. Lion Mobile imports Xiaomi telephones to the Czech Republic.  full story

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Together We Can: Jan Balog

14.2.2017 10:27 Last month, Romea.cz began publishing interviews on a weekly basis with people who are doing interesting things to aid all of us in getting along here. When we were looking for a name for this column, the motto of this year's International Romani Day, "Together We Can", inspired me, so the organizers and I have decided to call this column "Together We Can" as well.
 full story

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Czech Regional Development Minister reluctantly supports social housing law

13.2.2017 8:21 Czech Regional Development Minister Karla Šlechtová (for ANO) has signed off on the Government's proposed social housing legislation, with reservations. The minister used online social networks to make her disagreement known at the start of February.  full story

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Czech Education Minister wants to give schools money to visit historical sites

13.2.2017 7:36 Czech Education Minister Kateřina Valachová (Czech Social Democratic Party - ČSSD) wants to make it possible for schools to visit certain locations connected with Czech history free of charge. In May the ministry will make public a pilot program through which schools will be able to seek money for such field trips.  full story

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Czech court upholds limits on media using nicknames for politicians

13.2.2017 7:06 The Prague High Court confirmed on 31 January that it would only have been legal for the weekly magazine Reflex to use the nickname "Pitomio" (a pun on a word meaning "fool") to refer to Tomio Okamura, the chair of the "Freedom and Direct Democracy" movement, if it had done so in a context of legitimate criticism. Corrupting the politician's name for no reason is not allowed.  full story

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Czech Police propose prosecution of ultra-right extremist, he faces three years if convicted

12.2.2017 9:39 Prague Police have proposed prosecuting the chair of the ultra-right National Democracy party, Adam B.Bartoš, for the crimes of approving of and/or denying, justifying or questioning genocide, inciting hatred, defaming a nation and approving of a felony. Tomáš Hulan, spokesperson for the Prague Police, informed the Czech News Agency of the indictment on 7 February.  full story

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Czech Republic's Fulbright Commission opens course preparing Romani students for study in the USA

11.2.2017 16:09 The Fulbright Commission, in collaboration with the Department of Social Pedagogy at the Pedagogical Faculty of Masaryk University in Brno, will open a preparatory course this spring for Romani students interested in possibly studying in the USA. The aim of the course is to familiarize students with what it is like to study in the USA and prepare them to overcome the barriers and fear that deter disadvantaged and minority students from studying abroad.  full story

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Czech Government supports amendment to insolvency law to make debt relief more accessible

10.2.2017 6:59 Borrowers in the Czech Republic may become able to enter debt relief processes irrespective of the amount of debt they owe. The process could take either three, five or seven years, depending on the circumstances of the debt.  full story

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