Czech region puts 40 Romani refugees from Ukraine in tents near Pardubice, abandons others in the city center, local Roma had to aid them
Young children are among the 40 Romani refugees from Ukraine who have been living since Monday in makeshift tents on the outskirts of Pardubice. Members of the firefighter corps erected the tents.
The authorities abandoned without aid in the city center another group of Romani refugees from Ukraine that was smaller. Accommodation was then provided for them and activists and local Romani residents had to take care of them after the Governor was pressured by the Pirate Party to house them in Hradec Králové.
"Since Monday evening, temporary accommodation has been found for 40 people. It was absolutely exceptional for these persons to be offered shelter that is temporary before their citizenship has been checked as to whether another EU Member State could possibly protect them," Dominik Barták, spokesperson for the Pardubice Regional Authority, told the Romea.cz news server about the provisional tents.
The Governor of the Pardubice Region, Martin Netolický of the Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD), rejects the criticism that the Romani refugees from Ukraine are not sufficiently taken care of in the Czech Republic. He also reiterated his previous attack on Romani refugees from the Region of Transcarpathia in Ukraine, alleging that there is no fighting underway there.
Bombardments with missiles by Russia have been happening in the Transcarpathian Region, including yesterday. What's more the allegation that all of the Romani refugees in the Czech Republic are from Transcarpathian Ukraine is also false.
Czech Television broadcast an interview with a Romani woman who fled from Dnipro, in the east of Ukraine, which has been hit by missiles from the Russian forces. "My child is three years old. When he heard the shooting and explosions, he fell to the ground. Then he began to scream," the young Romani woman from Dnipro described the crazy scene in that bombarded part of Ukraine.
"Anyway, we want to be sure that they are really refugees from Ukraine. If the Alien Police has doubts, they check. In those cases they even ask four states, if I'm not mistaken, Hungary, Romania, Poland and Germany," the Governor described the harsh vetting of Romani refugees from Ukraine in the Czech Republic to Prima TV.
Yesterday evening, news server Romea.cz contacted several inhabitants of Pardubice who stated that there were several Romani refugees from Ukraine in Pardubice in front of the Regional Authority, including young children, whom authorities had refused accommodation even in temporary tents. "It's just not possible that they allow them to sleep outside with young children. This is racism in its clearest form," a local Pardubice resident who is Romani told Romea.cz.
Finally, with the aid of Pardubice residents who are Romani, members of the Roma Luma party, and the local Pirate Party, accommodation was found for the remaining Romani refugees from Ukraine. "Local Roma and members of the Pirate Party put the money together to house the Romani refugees from Ukraine in a residential hotel not far from Pardubice. The owner of the residential hotel claimed at first that he did not mind accommodating Romani people. After they arrived there, the facility was said to be already full, suddenly," Lucie Fuková, an activist from the local Romani community who assisted the Romani refugees from Ukraine with finding accommodation, told news server Romea.cz.
"City assembly members for the Pirates, Lenka Španihelova and Andrej Ramashiski, then secured accommodation for the Romani refugees from Ukraine in Hradec Králové in cooperation with the Governor there," the activist said, adding that it is not yet clear whether the citizenship documentation for the refugees is in order. Last night, however, another group of Romani refugees from Ukraine appeared at the Pardubice railway station.
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