Czech intelligence service: Ultra-right using anti-Romani protests for publicity
Jan Šubrt, spokesperson for the Security Information Service (Bezpečnostní informační služba - BIS) said yesterday that the service did not note any extremist activity that might represent any kind of immediate, real threat to the democratic foundations of the Czech Republic last year. However, the number of crimes related to extremism did rise slightly last year.
That is the conclusion of the quarterly report by BIS and the Czech Interior Ministry that has been made available to the Czech News Agency. Czech Interior Minister Milan Chovanec (ČSSD) will brief the Government on the report today.
According to a quarterly report by the Czech Interior Ministry's Department of Security Policy, 211 extremist felonies were committed last year in the Czech Republic compared to 173 in 2012. Extremists most often commit the crime of promoting and supporting movements aimed at suppressing human rights and freedoms.
With respect to extremism, last year was particularly notable for anti-Romani protests related to the existence of socially excluded localities. The events took place, for example, in České Budějovice, Duchcov, and Ostrava.
The triggers for these events were separate, unrelated incidents between members of the majority society and the Romani minority. In this context, the Czech Interior Ministry has already previously warned that most of these protests were intentionally held as efforts by ultra-right actors to gain publicity.
The extreme left also participated in counter-demonstrations against these protests. Security forces also noted new trends during the anti-Romani demonstrations, namely, that football radicals and the neo-Nazi scene are merging.
"Given that informal relations very often already exist between some hooligans and neo-Nazis, and given that many hooligans have basically gone on to join the neo-Nazis, this development is completely natural," a previous BIS quarterly report reads. The results of some of last year's protests included aggressive mobs attacking and provoking police in particular.
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