Czech eyewitnesses to assault on African man say they fear for their lives if they testify
The District Court for Prague 10 is continuing the trial of the racist assault on an African man in Prague that happened in the autumn of 2017. News server Seznam.cz reports that eyewitnesses to the violence do not want to testify in court because they fear for their lives.
A group of fans of the Sigma Olomouc football team attacked the man, originally from West Africa, as they were all travelling by tram. He was hospitalized as a result.
Police arrested several of the assailants that same day and investigated them on suspicion of committing felony battery, felony defamation of an ethnic, national, racial or other group, and felony rioting. Last autumn the three main alleged attackers - Štěpán Černín, Tomáš Satora and Josef Richard Uhlík - went on trial.
From the beginning the court has had one basic problem with the case - a lack of eyewitnesses willing to testify. Most of the eyewitnesses who have testified are friends of the defendants and have either asserted that they recall nothing or never saw anything.
Other eyewitnesses do not want to testify in court because they fear for their lives. One crucial eyewitness gave testimony on 10 January on the condition of total anonymity.
The voice of the eyewitness was altered during the testimony. "A group of football fans got on the tram. They were drunk. They shouted racist things, for example, 'The Slavia football team are Jews'. Then they yelled 'Sigma Olomouc', so I understood they were from Olomouc," testified the eyewitness whose identity was concealed.
"A black man was sitting on the tram and they began to assault him. They shouted at him 'Nigger, go back to Africa'. Then they began to beat him. He attempted to defend himself. He grabbed one of the attackers. All of them had a go at him, though. They punched him in the head, they kicked him. It was very brutal," the eyewitness testified.
To this day the victim is still recovering and living in fear for his life. The court has not publicized the victim's identity.
Last year the victim also gave testimony in which his identity was concealed through special voice distortion technology. He is said to be a college-educated computer programmer who has been living and working in Prague for 10 years.
Police had a problem with a lack of eyewitnesses from the beginning of their investigation. Many eyewitnesses were unwilling to testify against the assailants after being summoned.
Of the dozens of passengers on the tram, just three who saw the entire incident remained at the scene. The court adjourned the hearings so an expert witness can be deposed, after which the entire case will apparently be brought to a close and the judges will be able to make their decision.
- German MP who recently visited Czech President met with South African racists on official visit
- Czech court hears accused assailants of African man deny they racially abused him in any way
- Czech Police propose indicting football fans who assaulted African man on a Prague tram for racist reasons
- Margareta Matache and Cornel West on the common struggle of African Americans and Roma against white normativity
- Czech football fans who assaulted African man on Prague tram have not been banned from matches
- Czech President and Governor of Olomouc Region doubt whether attack on African man in Prague was racially motivated
- Racially-motivated attack by football fans on African man on a tram in the Czech capital - nobody came to his aid
- AEDH calls on African and European leaders to put human rights at the center of migration policies
- Czech activist on 8 April: the Romani position in society is deteriorating, zero results from the financing invested
- Czech court sentences man who praised deadly terrorist attack on New Zealand mosques to six years in prison, the longest such sentence yet
- Czech court finally rules football fans' actions during attack on Black man should be considered misdemeanors, not felonies
- Czech actress accused by fellow Instagrammers of racism for her comments about Black people on an American beach
- Czech footballer Ondřej Kúdela, centre-back for Slavia Prague, accused of racism in Glasgow
- LIVE BROADCAST NOW! EU Anti-Racism Summit
- Czech Prosecutor General appeals case to Supreme Court, says antisemitic death threats are a crime, not a misdemeanor
- Synodal Council of the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren calls on ombudsman to apologize for anti-Romani remarks
- Czech MP protesting measures to stem COVID-19 pandemic is a trafficker in poverty with a history of anti-Romani racism
- Mayor of Czech town apologizes after bureaucrat recommends application to use the town logo be rejected because she believed the applicant to be Romani
- Czech ombudsman attacks ROMEA organization for criticizing racist joke by incoming Chief Public Health Officer
- Incoming Czech Chief Public Health Officer apologizes to Romani people for racist joke