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Czech court sentences Romani man to prison for racist abuse while mourning a relative's death

22.12.2016 4:34
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The District Court in Louny has sentenced 41-year-old Miroslav Fedák to eight months in prison for defamation of a nation and race. During a commemoration of the young Romani man who died in a pizzeria in October, Fedák shouted racist, vulgar abuse.

News server reports the verdict has taken effect and will not be appealed. The spontaneous commemoration happened on the afternoon of 20 October in front of the Panamera Pizzeria.

Fedák made a speech to about 100 mourners in which he said:  "We can't just stand here like this. People, they're inside there, those Czech fuckers."

The defendant apologized in court for his remarks. "I want to apologize to all whom my words harmed. I said them under emotional stress and I was drunk. The deceased was my cousin," he told the court.

The court found that Fedák had also shouted vulgar expressions with the adjective "Czech" attached to them at the police officers who were present as well. Prosecutor Jaroslav Novák said the defendant had committed defamation of an ethnic, national, racial or other group of persons.

Novák proposed a sentence of 10 months in maximum-security prison. "Educational punishment cannot be considered, the defendant has served sentences in the past. He committed this offense while on parole and at a time when he was supposed to be performing community service work," the prosecutor said.

Viktor Elšík: We will record it all and file criminal reports

The linguist Viktor Elšík has posted a commentary about the case to his Facebook profile and called for everybody to begin thoroughly recording all racist insults against Romani people and filing criminal reports for each incident. "It is decidedly not very nice to call anybody a 'Czech fucker', we probably can agree on that. Yes, it's also racist. However, 'Gypsy whores' and other anti-Romani abuse is what I have heard and read many times more, to say nothing of the general racist comments, mockery and would-be serious musings that do not involve vulgarities," he wrote.

"Let's record them, let's transcribe them, let's file criminal reports! Otherwise, in our country, only those who are the greatest victims of racism will do prison time for it!" the linguist has posted.

Fedák is not the first Romani man to be convicted and sentenced to prison in connection with the response to the death of Miroslav Demeter in the pizzeria. Two weeks ago the court convicted Vladimír Kudráč of making death threats against an employee of the pizzeria through Facebook and sent him to prison for four months.

Mr Demeter's death remains unsolved. The cause of death has not yet been announced.


ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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