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Communist Party joins protests against Czech authorities over Nový Bydžov

Prague, 28.3.2011 16:05, (ROMEA)

Two weeks ago, the DSSS held its march in Nový Bydžov. Immediately afterward, many individuals and NGOs expressed criticism of the approach taken by the municipality. They also criticized the Czech Police for overlooking the Constitutional violations committed by the DSSS supporters, for intervening against the counter-demonstrators, and for failing to provide security for the citizens of Nový Bydžov once the neo-Nazi march had ended. The Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSČM) is now speaking up on the issue as well.

"Our experts are discussing the police intervention within the Armed Security Forces Committee in the Czech lower house. Should the negotiations there not be satisfactory, given the rise in manifestations of fascism, we will ask the Czech Interior Minister for information about the intervention at the April session of the lower house," KSČM head Vojtěch Filip said at a press conference.

Other political parties have already expressed their uneasiness over Nový Bydžov, including the Czech Pirate Party and the Green Party, which supported the counter-demonstration both during its preparation and on the scene. The Greens say the Czech Police failed to manage the situation in Nový Bydžov even though civil rights activists and political representatives had called on them in advance not to underestimate the situation and to be prepared for possible violations of the law by the neo-Nazis. Instead, police intervened against peaceful civil rights activists.

Immediately after the Saturday in question, the Czech Helsinki Committee also joined the criticism of the police intervention against those who had attempted to prevent the DSSS march through the town. The Committee said the intervention was disproportionately harsh and called on Czech Interior Minister Radek John (Public Affairs -VV) to see that there would consequences for the police action.

Amnesty International was alarmed by the police action and also turned to the Czech Interior Minister, calling on him to establish an immediate, impartial, independent and thorough investigation of the intervention in order to thoroughly investigate reports of ill-treatment by police and the disproportionate use of force against counter-demonstrators. The group also criticized the Czech Police for failing to provide protection for the three Roma people who were attacked by extreme-right promoters after the DSSS demonstration was over.

The civil society members of the Czech Government Inter-ministerial Commission for Roma Community Affairs have also demanded an investigation into the legitimacy of the police intervention, which involved mounted police officers galloping their houses into a peaceful demonstration against the DSSS action and beating the counter-demonstrators with truncheons. The civil society members also expressed their bitterness over the course of the announced DSSS demonstration in an open letter to Czech Interior Minister Radek John.

Gwendolyn Albert, Radka Steklá, ras, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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