Czech annual report on extremism: Anti-Roma sentiment remains the main threat
Last year extremists in the Czech Republic held 272 events, 135 fewer than in 2012. However, the number of extremist crimes rose from 173 to 211, mainly due to a series of demonstrations linked to socially excluded localities.
The main threat for the future remains the possibility of more outbreaks of anti-Romani sentiment. Those are the conclusions of the annual report on extremism during 2013 that the Government has now reviewed.
With respect to extremism, last year was particularly notable for anti-Romani protests related to the existence of socially excluded localities, for example, in České Budějovice, Duchcov, and Ostrava. The triggers for these events, allegedly, were incidents between members of the majority society and the Romani minority.
The annual report says 86 people have been charged so far in relation to anti-Romani demonstrations. The report also warns that right-wing extremists held several simultaneous demonstrations on the same day last year in order to fragment the police force.
During the protests, the extremists are coordinating their assaults and rioting more and timing them better. Right-wing extremists held 132 events in the Czech Republic last year, 68 of them assemblies and 36 of them concerts.
The report also mentions that football radicals and the neo-Nazi scene are merging. The Interior Ministry also reports that left-wing extremists held 140 events last year, 44 assemblies and 26 concerts.
The annual report notes that left-wing extremist actions are moving from the streets into clubs and cultural information centers. Both the left and right extremist scenes are said to be internally divided into various ideological streams.
The report also notes that extremists did not represent a threat to democracy in the Czech Republic last year. Compared to 2012, neither the ultra-left nor ultra-right have changed much.
The ultra-right continues to be dominated by the Workers' Social Justice Party (Dělnická strana sociální spravedlnosti - DSSS) while anarchists dominate the ultra-left. Police believe the membership base of the right-wing extremists is comprised of about 5 000 people, while the militants among them only number about 150.
Roughly one-third of the militants can be considered the foremost activists and leaders. The situation is said to be similar among left-wing extremists, with an absence of leading personalities having been a problem for them for some time.
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