Czech MP taken to hospital after two men physically assault him and racially abuse him
Czech MP Dominik Feri (TOP 09) was assaulted yesterday afternoon at a wine festival in the municipality of Boršice (Uherské Hradiště district) by two men unknown to him. He was taken to the hospital with injuries.
Feri tweeted about the incident, publishing photographs of the alleged attackers there as well. "Police are looking for the perpetrators," police spokesperson Vladislav Malcharczik told the Czech News Agency (ČTK).
"I went to Moravia and two gentlemen used their fists on me. Look, we can disagree politically, but we don't assault each other physically. I did my best to explain it to them, but what can you do?" Feri tweeted.
According to the MP, his visit to the cultural event in Boršice was spoiled by "some guys who apparently were saying something about niggers". Feri is of Ethiopian origin on his father's side.
The emergency medical services transported the injured MP to hospital in Uherské Hradiště. "They're taking me to Hradiště, the paramedics couldn't be talked out of it. I took a couple of blows to the head and I'm not feeling so great, so just to be sure," Feri tweeted.
From the photographs the MP posted immediately after the scuffle it can be seen that he endured facial injuries and a bloody gash on his back. "The doctors sewed up a laceration on my back and I guess I'm all right. They may let me go soon," he tweeted later.
Police are investigating the attack
"A 22-year-old man was assaulted in public by two men whom he did not know. The victim suffered injuries and was transferred to the hospital for treatment," the police spokesperson said.
Officers will be looking for the assailants and verifying whether the incident should be investigated as one of rioting, violence against a public official, and battery. "We will continue to investigate the circumstances of this incident," the spokesperson said when asked by ČTK whether the investigation had verified that racist abuse was used against the MP.
Politicians condemn racist and xenophobic violence
The chair of the TOP 09 club in the lower house, Miroslav Kalousek, said the assault was yet another racially-motivated attack on Czech territory. "Yet another racial attack on our territory. It wasn't by the Islamists this time either, but by 'the real decent Czechs'. I hope they will be strictly punished," Kalousek said.
The xenophobic violence was condemned by the vice-chair of TOP 09, Markéta Adamová Pekarová. "Hate is malignant. It begins with xenophobic commentaries on the Internet, it continues with fists, and history also knows how far it can escalate. As a society we must consistently reject this behavior and punish the culprits fairly. Dominik, get well soon!" she posted online.
The attack was also condemned by former Culture Minister Daniel Herman. "Dear Dominik Feri, my fingers are crossed for you to get well soon. I condemn this abhorrent assault on you! What is this place we're living in? People, we can't tolerate this any more!" Herman tweeted.
The chair of the Civic Democratic Party (ODS), Petr Fiala, also condemned the attack. "Any physical violence because of political opinions is absolutely unacceptable. The assault on Dominik Feri is deplorable and wretched. I hope our fellow legislator gets well soon," Fiala said.
The chair of the Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD), Interior Minister Jan Hamáček, also tweeted that he believes the attack is absolutely unacceptable. "Different opinions cannot be addressed with our fists. I hope our colleague gets well soon and that all of this will be quickly investigated and the culprits punished," Hamáček wrote on Twitter.
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