Czech ombudsman "likes" racist post on Facebook, refuses to answer questions about what that means
Matěj Hollan, the founder of the "Live Brno" (Žít Brno) movement and a former Brno city assembly member, has sharply criticized the Czech Public Defender of Rights, Stanislav Křeček. Last week, on the Facebook social network, Křeček used his personal Facebook account to "like" a comment that read "One rejection of a cigan does not equal racism."
News server Romea.cz has asked the ombudsman to explain his actions, but according to his press spokesperson, Iva Hrazdílková, he is refusing to comment further. Hollan had posted a status update in which he criticized the ombudsman's approach to cases of discrimination against Romani people on the housing market, and the racist comment was posted in response to his critique, after which the ombudsman then "liked" the statement, which uses a pejorative, racist term for Romani people.
The ombudsman is now refusing to explain to news server Romea.cz why he "liked" the comment. However, Hollan explained to Romea.cz why he had decided to draw attention to the ombudsman's behavior in his own critique.
According to Hollan, the institution of the Public Defender of Rights is one of the most important authorities in the Czech Republic for guaranteeing equality before the law and the right not to be discriminated against on the basis of one's ethnicity, race, religion, etc. "Stanislav Křeček doesn't just downplay that, he even denies it. He alleges there is no discrimination here at all, which confirms that he doesn't comprehend what this is about. It is important that the alarm be raised about this, that the media constantly report on it. An ombudsman like this is just good for one thing, and that is to be ashamed of him. Among other matters, I am convinced that this also infringes European principles and regulations," Hollan told Romea.cz.
"Mr Křeček was able, ahead of his appointment, to say whatever he wanted, to define himself in opposition to [previous Public Defender of Rights] Šabatová. We were able to pretend that was politics, sport, not to take these opinions of his absolutely seriously, to doubt whether he actually believed them, to give him a chance. However, now it is being demonstrated that he actually does not know what the Public Defender of Rights is meant to do. It seems that he has probably never read the Antidiscrimination Act and does not know what his agenda is [in office]. He confirms this each day, whether by defining himself as against the idea of the Public Defender of Rights addressing child protection, or if he 'likes' a racist comment, or when he alleges that Romani people here are not experiencing any discrimination," Hollan told Romea.cz.
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