Czech-language Facebook page of non-existent group falsifies photo of banner carried by Romani people
The fake Czech-language Facebook group "Roma against Islam" (Romové proti Islámu) has published an altered version of a photo taken of a Romani demonstration in September 2013 in front of the Office of the Czech Government. On one the banners, instead of the Romani flag which was actually being held, the photo has been doctored to show a text that attacks refugees.
If the administrators of the page do not remove the photo, representatives of the Romani Democratic Party (RDS) plan to file criminal charges. The altered photo was posted on Sunday, 21 June and immediately became very popular, being shared more than 2 600 times and receiving more than 1 500 "likes" as of noon yesterday.
Instead of the Romani flag and the inscription "Romani Democratic Party of the Czech Republic" (Romská demokratická strana ČR), those who doctored the photo inserted the following text between the hands of the two Romani people in the photograph: "STOP REFUGEE RECEPTION. Bohemia belongs to us and our white brothers. Smokes back to Africa! Your educated Roma."
Representatives of the RDS have already objected to the falsified collage. "If the administrators do not remove those photographs, we will file criminal charges. This discredits the RDS and is an abuse of our political party," Miroslav Rusenko, political secretary of the RDS Central Committee, told news server Romea.cz.
In January, Romea.cz was the first to report on the existence of this false Facebook group. The authors of its material demagogically attack Islam per se and have falsely claimed to be supported by the Dživipen association and the Terne čhave music group.
Both Romani initiatives have distanced themselves from the page. In February 2015, photographs were posted to the page of the non-existent group's alleged administrator and secretary, a certain "Ján Balko".
It took just a couple of minutes for news server Romea.cz to search online and determine that the photograph was actually of a Nobel Prize winner for chemistry, Venkatraman Ramakrishnan. Many photos of him exist online.
The fraudsters did their best to make it as difficult as possible to identify the man in the photograph, for example, by reproducing it as a mirror image so it could not be found using Google's instruments for photo searches, but Romea.cz discovered its origins nonetheless. It is evident from the materials posted to the Facebook page of this non-existent group that its purpose has been to attract Romani people to demonstrations by the anti-Islamic group "We Don't Want Islam in the Czech Republic" (Islám v ČR nechceme) that were held at the beginning of the year.
Those same people are behind another false Facebook page called Educated Roma (Vzdělaní Romové), which insults Romani people with would-be jokes. Facebook has so far ignored requests that these false groups be removed.
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