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July 6, 2022



Czech Police seem to prevent Romani refugees from disembarking at station, but say they just informed them there is no accommodation available in the country's second-largest city

10.5.2022 17:02
Romani refugees from Ukraine at Prague's main railway station (2022) (PHOTO: Lukáš Cirok)
Romani refugees from Ukraine at Prague's main railway station (2022) (PHOTO: Lukáš Cirok)

Czech Police officers with dogs at the Brno railway station have been accused of preventing Roma refugees from Ukraine from disembarking from a train, according to an eyewitness who posted a description of what he saw on Facebook. The police claim they were not preventing the refugees from disembarking, just communicating to them that there is no accommodation available for them in Brno, which is the country's second-largest city.

"Today I went to Brno's main railway station and before the arrival of the train to Prague, about 20 cops, municipal and state, ran onto the platform, the municipal ones had two dogs with them. It looked like they were hunting a dangerous criminal, they looked really tough. When the train pulled in, they srpead out to each door of each wagon and prevented Romani refugees from Ukraine from disembarking. Of course, they had no way of knowing who is Romani and who is Ukrainian, so the boys eyeballed it and stopped three families who look poor, all children and women camping in the corridors where the toilets are," Milan Votypka reported yesterday, adding that he heard the police say in "garbled" Russian to the Romani refugees that "Brno is full". 

The police claim they never prevented anybody from disembarking, but say they will investigate the situation as a whole. "The police did not prevent refugees from getting out of the train. This was confirmed by the author of the initial post, with whom we are in contact. Nevertheless, the whole situation is being examined by the Department of Internal Affairs. The police reported to the passengers that there is currently no accommodation available, whether they disembarked was up to them," police spokesperson Pavel Šváb told news server, saying 380 people passed through the Regional Assistance Center to Aid Ukraine (KACPU) in Brno yesterday, including 130 children.

"We are monitoring the situation at the train station, in the area in front of the station, and at other exposed places. Any behavior that is illegal, for example, in the area of public order, we are addressing by reaching agreement with those involved and remedying the situation. We are collaborating with state organizations and the nonprofit organizations IQ Roma servis, Romodrom, etc. to address this state of affairs," the spokesperson said.

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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