Czech mayor asks media, politicians not to escalate interethnic tensions in her town
Markéta Kastnerová, the Mayor of the municipality of Srbice, which has jurisdiction over the village of Strýčkovice, issued a statement today asking the media and politicians not to escalate the inter-ethnic situation in her incorporated area. Recently the Czech national daily Právo, its online news server Novinky.cz, and the tabloid news server Blesk.cz have been publishing anti-Romani articles about the situation in Strýčkovice.
Czech MP Tomio Okamura (Úsvit) has also exploited the situation to lead his own anti-Romani offensive. Today Okamura is planning to visit the town council there.
The mayor is asking that politicians not travel to Strýčkovice. News server Romea.cz publishes the mayor's statement in full translation below:
Statement by Mayor Markéta Kastnerová on the situation in the village of Strýčkovice (Domažlice district)
The village of Strýčkovice, which administratively falls under the jurisdiction of the municipality of Srbice, has recently drawn the attention of the media and several politicians over disputes between neighbors that recently culminated in three members of one local family throwing rocks through the windows of another. Unfortunately, similar incidents have repeatedly occurred in relation to this particular family, whose members have infringed on civil coexistence in the past.
These incidents are related to the family's dissatisfactory social situation, including the fact that two adult members of the household suffer from serious health ailments. After this most recent incident, the police intervened immediately and proportionately, arresting and charging the two perpetrators.
The police are proceeding adequately in this situation and are protecting the health and property of the citizens. I would now like to correct the record with regard to these incidents.
There is one Romani family living in the village, a mother and her four sons. There are no other members of the Romani minority and no other socially vulnerable citizens living there.
I will continue to address this situation with the Police of the Czech Republic and with the leadership of the village, and I will publicly also address it with the citizens of the village should that be necessary. I cannot accept the repetition of such incidents, but I am handling the situation with those authorized to address it.
The District Court in Domažlice has already begun a proceedings in the matter of establishing guardianship for two members of the Romani family. I would therefore like to call on all political representatives who are planning to visit Strýčkovice not to do so.
I request that all people who intend to express their opinion of this situation do so by helping us to calm it, not to escalate it. I also ask the media to report on the situation dispassionately and in a way that is appropriate to the nature of these circumstances.
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