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Czech daily: Police investigations of hate attacks are remarkably ineffective

30.4.2016 13:34
On 6 February 2016 a group of neo-Nazis attacked a peaceful procession by the
On 6 February 2016 a group of neo-Nazis attacked a peaceful procession by the "No to Racism" initiative with bottles and rocks. Police did not detain anyone from the masked group of aggressors and allowed them to continue raging through the streets of Prague. (PHOTO:

The online news server has published a summary of recent hate attacks in the Czech Republic and the developments to date in their investigations. The article describes the circumstances of five cases, each of which has received particular media attention.

The server reports that what is remarkable is the fact that not one perpetrator has been apprehended in any of the cases. This is all the more startling as in several the police have had CCTV footage or identikit data available on the perpetrators.

Tomáš Hulan, spokesperson for the Prague Police, commented on the cases for the daily. The first attack described is the case of a Syrian citizen who was assaulted at the beginning of the year, stabbed in Prague's Vršovice neighborhood while out for a run.

Both the man and his partner have been actively engaged in aiding refugees and had long faced serious threats because of that work. The assailants have not yet been apprehended and Hulan said there is no "specific conclusion" available yet about who they might have been.

Another such case happened in February on the same day that demonstrations for and against migration took place in Prague and involved an arson attack in the early evening hours against the Autonomous Center Klinika in the Žižkov quarter of Prague. That attack fortunately caused only minor injuries and material damage, but was of obvious symbolic weight and sent a clear message to those involved with Klinika: Beware.

During a previous demonstration, a scuffle flared up near Prague Castle during which a group of masked perpetrators threw rocks and sticks at those participating in a demonstration in favor of receiving refugees. Police have interrogated individuals involved in both of these cases, but the result is the same, i.e., "no concrete conclusion" can be drawn as to who the perpetrators were.

In its overview, also focuses on the attacks on the Kašpárek Family Center in Pardubice, which has experienced several instances of vandalism since last year, including the most recent attack during which someone posted an "obituary" for the manager of the center, Olga Pavlů, on its door stating that the director had "died after being sentenced to death for treason". Local police were unable to say anything more about the Pardubice case other than that it is being investigated.

Another case from the end of last year took place in Brno and involved somebody splashing a local mosque with motor oil. After two months that investigation was shelved completely even though security camera footage of the incident was available to police.

As of 28 April the most recent such case known to the media is that of last weekend's synchronized spray-paint attacks on business and cafes in Prague openly sympathizing with the Government's "HateFree Culture" project - assailants were captured by CCTV cameras painting the slogan "Death to HateFree" and Nazi symbols on the storefronts of such venues. The investigation of that case has just begun and police have yet to apprehend any suspects. 

adg, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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