Czech MPs who ran on Okamura's candidate list now protesting his Romani Holocaust denial
The dedication and unity to date of the members of the "Dawn of Direct Democarcy" (Úsvit) movement's club for MPs vis-a-vis their boss, Czech MP Tomio Okamura, is deteriorating. Two Úsvit MPs have said they do not want to be associated with Okamura's recent statements insulting the victims of the Romani Holocaust.
Czech MP Marek Černoch has said that Lety was indeed a concentration camp for Romani people, while Milan Šarapatka has distanced himself from Okamura's remarks. "I categorically state that I condemn all displays of political extremism, racism and xenophobia," Šarapatka says in a press release.
"As far as the remarks regarding the Romani camp at Lety, I consider them to be unfortunate and I consider belitting Nazi violence to be very dangerous. This doesn't just violate my convictions and opinions, it violates historical truth. That is why I am unequivocally distancing myself from him!" writes Šarapatka, who was elected to the Chamber of Deputies as an independent from the Úsvit candidate list.
"There is no doubt that Lety u Písku, where a labor camp and then a concentration camp intended for the internment of Romani people were established during the Second World War, must be a place of remembrance. The annihilation of ethnic groups then was the Holocaust, it doesn't matter of which nationality, and these facts cannot be doubted. What matters is not who died in that camp, or how, but that it even happened in the first place. Let's not deny and disparage such events and dark facts of history. Let's honor and respect their memory," wrote Czech MP Marek Černoch.
Okamura's statements have been previously condemned by many other politicians and representatives of the Romani community. Criminal charges have been filed against him and news server Romea.cz is informed that more criminal charges are being prepared.
News server Echo24.cz reports that Šarapatka last drew attention to himself in the spring, when he traveled as an observer to monitor the referendum held in Crimea. His travel was paid for by an organization whose website regularly publishes material by the ultra-right activist Luc Michel of Belgium.
Šarapatka claimed at the time that he had not paid attention to who was organizing the trip. He defended himself against criticism that his participation meant he was condoning populism and xenophobia.
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