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June 26, 2022

 

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Czech capital takes down two of the four large capacity tents where Romani refugees from Ukraine were being housed

26.4.2022 7:15
Romani refugees from Ukraine in Prague at the Regional Assistance Center for Aid to Ukraine in the Vysočany quarter, 20 April 2022 (PHOTO: Anna Chválová)
Romani refugees from Ukraine in Prague at the Regional Assistance Center for Aid to Ukraine in the Vysočany quarter, 20 April 2022 (PHOTO: Anna Chválová)

The operation of tents for emergency overnight stays of refugees from Ukraine at the Regional Assistance Center for Aid to Ukraine (KACPU) in Prague's Vysočany quarter is all in order, according to the Deputy Mayor of the Prague 9 Municipal Department Adam Vážanský (Civic Democratic Party - ODS), who informed the Czech News Agency (ČTK) that the facility is fine after visiting it yesterday. The Mayor of Prague 9, Tomáš Portlík (ODS), had previously said the management of Prague 9 had asked the city council to remove the tents near the center in which Romani refugees from Ukraine are now living.

The Mayor of Prague 9 said problems had arisen near the tents. Vážanský has now told ČTK that  Mayor Portlík's statements involved a "misunderstanding".

According to Vážanský, the mayor was speaking about two tents that have been removed over the last few days. The KACPU in Prague has been located in a building on Freyova Street since 14 April. 

"The director of the Prague Fire Brigade, Luděk Prudil, welcomed the Deputy Mayor of Prague 9 Vážanský there today, showed him the tents for emergency accommodations, and no reproach was heard," Martin Kavka, a spokesperson for the Prague Fire Brigade, told ČTK. Firefighters are involved in the KACPU operations countrywide. 

According to Kavka, the Prague 9 tents are designed for emergency accommodation, are heated, and offer camping beds and sanitary facilities. Previously there were also tents at the center functioning as waiting rooms, but Kavka said no refugees ever slept in them. 

Those "waiting room" tents have now been removed. Mayor Portlík stated yesterday that it is a problem for Romani refugees from Ukraine to stay in the municipal department's tents. 

According to the mayor, the conditions in the tents have been unsatisfactory. Deputy Mayor Vážanský has now said Portlík was apparently talking about the tents that have already been removed. 

ČTK has interviewed people who know the center in Vysočany who say they do not have any problems with the Romani refugees who are now in the tents. Refugees from the Romani minority usually request accommodation for bigger groups of people than non-Romani refugees do. 

Yesterday Interior Minister Vít Rakušan (Mayors and Independents - STAN) discussed the matter with representatives of Romani organizations and said that Romani nonprofits will be aiding the busy regional centers for refugees to ensure better agreements with the Romani refugees from Ukraine. The minister said the authorities have already found more than 20 facilities that could accommodate Romani refugees in larger groups. 

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Czech Interior Ministry has issued 308 170 visas for refugees from Ukraine. According to the director of the Romodrom organization, Nikola Taragoš, about 1 200 to 1 500 of them are Romani and two-thirds are children.

ČTK, ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Migrace, pomoc, Prague, refugee, Ukraine



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