Czech commentator expected stronger condemnation by politicians of the racist reactions to the worst arson attack since 1990
Jindřich Šídlo, a commentator for Czech news server Seznam Zprávy, says he was not surprised by the racist reactions to the recent apartment fire in Bohumín that cost the lives of 11 people, three of whom were children. He discussed racism in Czech society during an interview for Czech Radio Plus.
"I think the correct reaction was that of Interior Minister Jan Hamáček (Czech Social Democratic Party - ČSSD), who said police would be investigating one abominable article in particular. While he doesn't have the right to instruct that, it showed an effort being made. I think the police are already addressing it," he said when asked what he thinks of the reactions to the arson and the racist article about it published by the fringe newspaper "Vlastenecké noviny".
The commentator added that generally, he would have expected stronger condemnation of the situation from Czech politicians: "I already have thick skin, though, I don't expect much anymore. When 2 August, European Roma Holocaust Memorial Day, wasn't considered worth comemmorating by the Prime Minister, the President of the Republic, and basically by most politicians, then I didn't even really have a reason to be disappointed [by their ignoring the racist response to Bohumín]."
Šídlo also recalled some of the racist remarks made by Czech President Miloš Zeman about Romani people and the doubts cast on the Holocaust and its Romani victims by one of the vice-chairs of the lower house, Czech MP Tomio Okamura ("Freedom and Direct Democracy"). In association with the 2 August anniversary, he also recalled the scandal of the industrial pig farm at Lety u Písku, which has been removed from the site of a former concentration camp for Romani people there 25 years after the media first raised the issue.
"We made it to that point because of that remark by Andrej Babiš: 'Whoever didn't work, bam! - ended up there'," he quoted the words of then-Finance Minister Babiš (ANO). The PM and head of the ANO movement, according to Šídlo, fortunately quickly realized the scandalous nature of his remarks and began to systematically work on removing the farm as a symbolic gesture.
- Czech Police charge author of antigypsyist article about arson for that and other offenses
- Czech NGO ROMEA and vice-chair of Pirates file criminal report over online racist commentaries about arson in Bohumín
- 11 deaths in fire, worst such death toll since 1990, met with antigypsyist celebration by Czech Internet
- Romani activists called on Czech mayors to fly the Romani flag for 2 August, some of their refusals were textbook racism
- Romanian court hands down a scandalous decision: Roma woman who was beaten up by a minibus driver has to pay a fine
- German MEP of Romani origin Romeo Franz: The situation for Roma in Ukraine is shocking, I could not believe Roma live in such conditions in Europe
- CNN: Czech Republic has discriminated against Romani refugees from Ukraine, updated data refute the myth that they all hold dual citizenship
- Emil Voráč: I distance myself from Romani supporters of xenophobic politicians in the Czech Republic
- Czech research finds one-third of Romani refugees from Ukraine have experienced discrimination here, most children are not in education, dual citizenship has not been "abused" by them
- Spain: Vigilantes set six homes of Romani families on fire in an act of collective punishment, but some European media call the incidents "peaceful demonstrations"
- Hungary's Jewish Community protests PM Orbán's racist speech in which he said Hungarians don't want to become a "mixed-race" nation
- Czech volunteers say second-largest city has broken its agreement by closing camp used by Romani refugees from Ukraine near Grand Hotel
- New handbook describes how to intervene against daily hatred and racism in the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Portugal and the Netherlands
- Czech local candidates who quit the "Mayors and Independents" party have secured enough signatures to run as independents
- All candidates for the "Mayors and Independents" party in Czech town are quitting to run as their own group after mayor is told not to run for espousing racist violence
- Czech mayor must either withdraw his candidacy today or be delisted as a candidate by his party ahead of local elections for his racist advocacy of violence against Romani people