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Czech local politicians allege police have had to respond to Romani refugee Ukrainians, but police have no record of being called to their location

22.4.2022 15:00
Romani refugees from Ukraine at the Hamerský mlýn residential hotel at the Janov housing estate in Litvínov and Mayor Kamila Bláhová. (2022) (Collage: Romea.cz)
Romani refugees from Ukraine at the Hamerský mlýn residential hotel at the Janov housing estate in Litvínov and Mayor Kamila Bláhová. (2022) (Collage: Romea.cz)

The administration of the City of Litvínov has maligned the Romani refugees from Ukraine who are temporarily living at the Hamerský mlýn residential hotel on the housing estate called of Janov there. City councillors have alleged that police have been repeatedly called to the facility.

Local police reject the allegation that they have had to deal with any problems at the residential hotel or with any wrongdoing by its tenants. News server Romea.cz contacted them for their response to the assertion.

"The situation in the Hamerský mlýn residential hotel in the excluded Litvínov-Janov locality has been discussed by city councilors. Its owner in Prague brought 100 refugees from Ukraine to the residential hotel who have no identification and who only speak Romanes, having never mastered Ukrainian. Since their arrival, both the municipal police and state police officers have repeatedly had to deal with the situation in the residential hotel. The council members agreed that this, the biggest excluded locality in the Czech Republic, has been saturated with an accumulation of housing problems, safety problems and social problems, and is unable to rehabilitate the problems of 100 more people to whom it will be necessary to dedicate a lot of care and support," reads the city management's press release.

The Czech Police have refuted the accusation that illegal activities have been committed at the residential hotel since 15 April, when the Romani refugees from Ukraine arrived there. "As of 15 April, no illegal actions have been reported from the Hamerský mlýn residential hotel, and the police have no record of having been called to that locale. For a 24-hour period, a police patrol did monitor the locality," police spokesperson Václav Krieger told the Romea.cz news server.

"The police have not had to resolve any problems at that location," the police spokesperson told Romea.cz. According to Czech Television reporter and ROMEA TV correspondent Richard Samko, who filmed a reportage at the residential hotel on Wednesday, it is also not true that the refugees do not speak Ukrainian.

"I filmed interviews with them for ROMEA TV in Romanes and for Czech Television in Ukrainian. Those people can speak Ukrainian," Samko said.

About 80 Roma refugees from Ukraine have been accommodated in the Hamerský mlýn residential hotel since 15 April. Initially, there were food problems there because the facility operator had been inaccurately informed about the composition of the group. 

During the next few days after their arrival, local Romani volunteers became involved in helping the Romani refugees from Ukraine. Local Roma from the Chanov housing estate, Litvínov itself, or Teplice brought them more groceries, including fruit, meat, potatoes and other vegetables.

Litvínov is led by Mayor Kamila Bláhová of the ANO movement, which holds four seats on the city council. ANO governs locally there in coalition with the Communists and the SNK European Democrats.

Zdeněk Ryšavý, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Discrimination, Janov, Litvínov, Racism, Ukraine



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