Czech racists physically assault Romani activist Jozef Miker while shouting antigypsyist abuse
Last weekend in Teplice, Czech Republic the famous Romani activist, hero and man who fights for the rights of Roma and others, Jozef (Jožka) Miker, was beaten up. Several men who exited a pub very near his home in a drunken state encountered him as he was walking by.
The assailants did not know their victim and fixated not just on his Romani ethnicity, but on the fact that he was wearing a Pirate Party t-shirt. "Dude, a Gypsy in a Pirate shirt, that's out of line, fucking Pirates!" Jožka heard one of them say.
One of the men then grabbed him from behind, pinned his arms to his body, and another man punched him in the face more than once. He now has a broken tooth.
The attackers then removed his Pirate t-shirt and tore it to shreds. They exploited the fact that he is a seriously ill senior citizen on a disability pension.
Jožka worked full time for 31 years as a miner and in his younger days would have had no trouble defending himself physically. He has decided to approach this incident just as many other Romani people in a similar situation do: He will not report the assault to the authorities, he is treating himself and not seeking medical aid.
Just a small fraction of such cases here are ever reported and investigated. Another tiny fraction of that small fraction ends with the perpetrators being punished.
Adam Komenda, a member of the Pirate Party who chairs the cell in Most and who has long dedicated himself to supporting the Romani community at the Chanov housing estate, expressed his view of the entire incident as follows: "I know Jožka Miker personally as a man who spends most of his time helping others, for example, regularly cooking as a volunteer and delivering lunches to homeless people in Teplice, and he is also dedicated to working with children and youth from socially vulnerable families. The report that he has been assaulted for no reason fills me with feelings of anger and disappointment. Naturally I condemn this shameful act. Unfortunately, similar attacks on Romani people are, for many reasons, rarely reported to the police and for that reason very few end up before a court so the perpetrators can be punished."
When I asked Jožka to comment on the attack, he did so as follows: "I'm proud the racists beat me up. It was not the first time and it will not be last."
I disagree on that with him. I would like this to be the last time and for the perpetrators to be punished.
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