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September 18, 2018
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Czech Police investigation of death threats against Romani celebrity continues, his brother targeted also

1.2.2017 7:05
Fans of the xenophobic Ortel band sent death threats to Romani singer Radek Banga in 2016. (Collage:
Fans of the xenophobic Ortel band sent death threats to Romani singer Radek Banga in 2016. (Collage:

Czech Police have confirmed to news server that they are continuing to investigate death threats against the Romani singer Radek Banga. The threats of physical annihilation and calls to "gas" Banga began to appear on his Facebook profile after he publicly criticized the success of the xenophobic band Ortel in the "Czech Nightingale" music competition.

For tactical reasons, police do not want communicate any more detailed information about the investigation. "The Police of the Czech Republic are monitoring social networking sites and assessing communications undertaken by their users. Furthermore, while we can confirm that the police is involved with this matter, nevertheless for tactical reasons at this moment we will not publicize any more information," Chief Inspector Jana Šteinerová of the Central Bohemian Regional Police Directorate told news server

Radek Banga said he also does not want to release any more detailed information and told to communicate directly with his legal representative, Klára Kalibová. "In the case of Radek Banga, the initial, non-procedural acts of a criminal proceedings are underway. Mr Banga respects the limitations the police have apprised him of that make it impossible for him to publicize information that could potentially endanger the criminal proceedings. It may be fair to assess the police activity after a few more months," Kalibová told news server

In addition to such attacks on Radek Banga, racists have also begun to attack his brother, Patrik, and the ROMEA organization, which broke the story about Radek Banga's public gesture of protest during the nationally televised music competition. "I was at the police to make a statement. I just repeated what I wrote in my criminal report. I described the speciic threats made against me and where I was threatened," Patrik Banga told news server

The criminal report that ROMEA filed at the beginning of December after a Facebook user also threatened to set the office of the organization on fire has been shelved by police with the explanation that it did not rise to the level of a felony. "The investigation undertaken did not ascertain facts from which it could reasonably be presumed that a felony had been perpetrated to justify the beginning of prosecution under Section 158 paragraph 3 Criminal Code," reads the notification the organization received last week.

On the other hand, the District Court in Louny has sentenced a 20-year-old Romani man to four months in prison after he sent a message to the chef of the pizzeria in Žatec where Romani community member Miroslav Demeter died in October under still-unexplained circumstances that read as follows: "I would shoot him dead in front of his wife. Ciao, enjoy it in Hell."

Another Romani man has also been imprisoned after shouting racist, vulgar abuse in the direction of a police patrol and those whom he believed had been Demeter's "murderers" during a commemorative assembly after Demeter's death. The District Court in Louny sent 41-year-old Miroslav Fedák to prison for eight months after convicting him of defamation of a nation or race.

voj, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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