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Another racially motivated arson attack on Roma in the Czech Republic?

Červený Kostelec, 21.11.2009 18:13, (ROMEA)

East Bohemian police in Náchod district are investigating several recent attacks on a Romani family in Červený Kostelec. The most recent attack evidently occurred on Tuesday 17 November, when someone set fire to part of their home. In an enormous stroke of luck, the municipal police were driving past at the time and saved the family’s life. "We saw flames blazing from the wooden porch of the house and we woke the people up,” municipal police patrolman Ivo Havíř told the news server tn.cz.

The server reports that the attack is not an isolated one. Someone recently scratched a swastika on the families’ cars and threw a rock through the window of the room where one child sleeps. "I don’t know, there are certain individuals here who don’t want us here,” one of the Romani residents said to tn.cz when asked about the possible cause of their misfortune. Local Roma are afraid and are standing guard, watching over their homes through the night.

"We are investigating Tuesday’s fire and the cases of the damage to the cars concerning the families from Kostelec. We are also investigating whether these are cases with a racial subtext,” Eva Prachařová, spokesperson for the Náchod police, told tn.cz.

"They were giving the Nazi salute here, telling us to go away, saying this country is not ours. We were born here and we’re not going anywhere. We are glad we are here, we are proud of it,” one local resident said. Whether the attacks really do have a racist subtext will be determined by the investigation. For the time being the police are investigating the cases as vandalism, tn.cz reports.

Gwendolyn Albert, ROMEA, ROMEA, tn.cz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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