Czech Human Rights Minister meets with management of Hate Free project to discuss its future
Czech Human Rights Minister Jan Chvojka (Czech Social Democratic Party - ČSSD) met on 7 February with the leadership of the Czech Government's campaign against hate violence, Hate Free Culture. The three-year project, scheduled to end in April, combats hate speech and xenophobia as well as refuting fake news and hoaxes, mainly in the online environment.
According to a press release, Chvojka's team will ensure the sustainability of the project after April in accordance with the funding rules. The Office of the Government has undertaken anti-racist campaigns since 1998 and will continue to do so.
"The conclusion of our negotiations with the minister is that the project financed by Norway Grants is logically ending at the close of April. We will meet again in two weeks to discuss its sustainability after that," Lukáš Houdek, the coordinator of Hate Free Culture, told news server Romea.cz.
"This campaign should not be about preaching to the choir," Chvojka said, "but about working with ordinary people, about explaining that anybody can encounter such violence because of where they come from or how they look." According to the Human Rights Minister, it is necessary that the campaign's argumentation against hate violence be comprehensible not just to intellectuals and students in terms of format and vocabulary, but to anybody using the Internet and moving about in society.
Given the deadlines for assessing projects and applying for new ones, after the campaign's closure in April there will be an eight-month period during which it will wind down. During that time Chvojka and his team will assess the closing project and work on designing its continuation.
"Campaigns are, in my opinion, primarily tasks for civil society," Chvojka said, "but the Office of the Government has supported such activities in the past and will continue to do so where we are convinced that the project will be effective. We will be negotiating the concrete form of the next campaign to be implemented by the Office of the Government in the months to come."
News server Rozhlas.cz reported that Chvojka has denied wanting to target the Hate Free project for closure. "While the project is closing at the end of April, the terms are that it must continue until the end of this year in order to be sustainable. If it does not continue we would have to return all of the money to Norway Grants. From the end of April until the beginning of next year we have time to assess whether the project was successful, whether it is possible to continue it, or whether we will do a new one," he told Czech Radio.
Czech Prime Minister Sobotka surprised by Chvojka's statement on Hate Free
The Czech media had previously reported that the Hate Free campaign was "closing". Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, participating in a debate with the Idealists association, said in response to the news that he would review the details of Chvojka's decision not to continue the Hate Free Culture project with the minister.
The PM claimed to be surprised by the minister's reported decision. "We should not abandon our efforts to counter the dissemination of hatred and xenophobia in society, and at the end of the day as Human Rights Minister that's in his job description. However, it seems there have been some objective problems with the project," news server Novinky.cz reported Sobotka as saying.
The financing of the Hate Free Culture project was questioned recently by the Czech daily Mf DNES, according to which a former head of the project, Nikola Křístek, had also been working simultaneously for the AISIS association when that NGO received a public tender worth CZK 5 million. Former Human Rights Minister Jiří Dienstbier (ČSSD) has objected to the media's characterization of those arrangements.
Dienstbier, who is still a senator today, told news server TÝDEN.CZ that he vetted all the information about the project's financing. "All of it was done correctly and there was no abuse," he said.
Křístek, according to Dienstbier, withdrew after ascertaining that AISIS was seeking the public tender. He also noted that Křístek was merely an employee of the association, which aims to improve education in the Czech Republic.
"If that problem was meant to be a reason to close the project, then I consider it a pretext. I decidedly do not believe a project like this should end because of it," Senator Dienstbier said, adding that he had not yet met with his successor to discuss the future of the Hate Free Culture campaign because he had not been given any room to express his opinion of it.
According to news server Aktuálně.cz, Křístek is scheduled to testify to an ethics commission over the issue. "The commission will say whether Křístek's behavior violated internal ethics rules," Chvojka said.
"This did not cross the line legally. Formally it was in accordance with the law, but morally, in my opinion, it was not," Chvojka told news server Aktuálně.cz.
- Civil March for Aleppo in the Czech Republic receives both hate and love
- Czech Islamophobes have a problem: Konvička has quit yet another political party and Facebook has closed their hate page
- Czech Gov't Council on Romani Affairs calls on public figures to speak out against hate and xenophobia
- Czech PM: Hate attacks in UK after Brexit are future of Europe if EU falls
- Czech Police apprehend suspected perpetrators who spray-painted Nazi symbols on venues supporting Government's HateFree campaign
- Czech court says police must further investigate ultra-right activist's hate speech about Muslims
- EU Commissioners on Roma Holocaust Memorial Day: Too many Roma are victims of hate crime in Europe
- Czech Radio: Political scientist says Europe is not the epicenter of political violence, but anti-Muslim hate is spreading there
- ROMEA releases new Czech-Norwegian documentary film about aid for victims of discrimination and hate violence
- European Commission agrees with social media companies on a common approach against online hate
- Czech Republic: New handbook advises foreign nationals on how to respond to hate
- Czech Govt Agency for Social Inclusion reviews local group working with Romani children after its head attacks the HateFree Culture initiative
- Czech Govt Agency for Social Inclusion's dilemma: What to do with haters of "HateFree" who work with Romani children?
- Prague City Hall joins Czech Government's "HateFree" campaign despite Prague City Assembly vote against it
- Prague council members for ODS say Government's EU-funded "HateFree" campaign is an example of left-wing "extremism"
- Czech daily: Police investigations of hate attacks are remarkably ineffective
- Czech HateFree campaign will continue in a different form, Govt issues statement fully backing its manager
- Czech Police propose charging four people for neo-Nazi graffiti on businesses in the HateFree Zone
- Czech Human Rights Minister and Czech President discuss changing the Constitution and other laws
- Czech Republic: Govt Ethics Commission finds Hate Free project manager did not commit unethical behavior
- Czech Regional Development Minister reluctantly supports social housing law
- Stano Daniel: Fico's the "gypsy", I am a Rom
- Czech Government withdraws bill to strengthen Public Defender of Rights
- Civil society members of Czech Government Council for Roma Minority Affairs recap past three years of work
- Czech coalition Government reaches agreement on social housing, will the law pass?
- Civil March for Aleppo crosses into the Czech Republic
- Slovak PM targets Roma in his speeches, critics say he should focus on his own corruption scandals
- Analysis of Czech-language Internet finds posts about Roma worse than two years ago - 80 % negative
Tags:HateFree Culture, Politika, Vláda, Výběrové řízení
Jana Šedivcová: Are all Czech children cat killers and all Romani children flamingo killers? Collective blame is unacceptable17.3.2017 15:03
Patrik Banga: I'm for collecting ethnic data in all areas, but the majority can't tell who is Romani17.3.2017 10:17
discussion about whether estimating the numbers of Romani people should even happen and if so, what the appropriate method is to use.
Každý diskutující musí dodržovat PRAVIDLA DISKUZE SERVERU Romea.cz. Moderátoři serveru Romea.cz si vyhrazují právo bez předchozího upozornění skrýt nevhodné příspěvky z diskuse na Romea.cz. Ty pak budou viditelné jen pro vás a vaše přátele na Facebooku. Při opakovaném porušení pravidel mohou moderátoři zablokovat zobrazování vašich příspěvků v diskusích na Romea.cz ostatním uživatelům.