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Czech mayor refuses to speak with relatives of Romani man murdered in his town

Teplice, 29.5.2013 17:54, (ROMEA)
Beneš Square in the north Bohemian town of Teplice, Czech Republic. Murder was evidently committed here in 2013. (Photo:  Google - maps)
Beneš Square in the north Bohemian town of Teplice, Czech Republic. Murder was evidently committed here in 2013. (Photo: Google - maps)

On Tuesday 28 May 2013, the friends and relatives of a Romani man killed on a square in Teplice recently during the grand opening of the spa season gathered in front of the town hall to remember the victim. The man's relatives consider his murder to have been a racist attack and are bothered by the fact that the victim has been described in the Czech media as a thief. Initial media reports on the incident said a stallkeeper attacked the 49-year-old man over the theft of two bratwurst.

Approximately 30 people gathered for the memorial service, at which funeral arrangements were also organized. "The Romani residents organized this meeting on their own. They want to honor the murder victim and also to deliver a report to the Mayor of Teplice, Mr Kuber, about what happened and ask him to issue a correction to the lies reported by the media. First we were informed that the mayor was no longer in the building, but after some time he came out and drove away. He refused to speak with the bereaved," Markus Pape, who participated in the meeting on the 28th, told news server Romea.cz.

"This is yet another case of the media taking up reports without verifying them - they are failing their readers and protecting the people who most probably have committed murder," Pape said. "However, I must say the police are taking the case seriously and are not being influenced by the media reports."

News server Romea.cz previously reported that the victim had been standing up for young Romani people when drunken stallkeepers shouted racist curses at them. According to an eyewitness, one stallkeeper reportedly stabbed the victim with a knife 21 times.

One of the youths who witnessed the assault gave an interview to the Czech News Agency on 29 May in which he insisted that no one stole any bratwurst. "We had money to buy a hot dog if we wanted one," he said.

Those who gathered to remember the victim were interested in where the media got the information about the allegedly stolen bratwurst in the first place. According to a police detective who was present at the gathering on the 28th, that information came directly from the person who reported the crime, who most probably informed several media outlets about it on his own.

"In the early morning hours of 24 May a physical attack was perpetrated in Teplice by several drunken persons. This assault resulted in the death of a 49-year-old man. Shortly thereafter a 31-year-old man was arrested in connection with this crime and charged with murder. The state prosecutor filed a motion for him to be remanded into custody, which was accepted on Sunday, and the 31-year-old man was escorted to prison," Regional Police spokesperson Veronika Hyšplerová said about the incident on Monday 27 May.

Markus Pape said the defendant has also been charged with attempted murder against more than one person. In only one case did he succeed.

ČTK, bau, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Romové, Teplice, Útok, Vražda, zprávy, Anticiganismus, Fámy, návštěva, oběť, podezření , radnice, rasisticky motivovaný útok, Romská hrdost, Czech republic, news, Racism, Roma, úmrtí



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