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Czech Republic: Municipal police tell DSSS extremists they won't let them destroy Břeclav

Břeclav, 19.4.2012 13:47, (ROMEA)
Břeclav, Czech Republic. Photo:  www.breclav.org

Representatives of the town of Břeclav and the South Moravian Region have condemned the recent attack by three men on a 15-year-old boy there. They have also called on citizens not to join the upcoming ultra-right extremists' actions there so that Břeclav does not become another Šluknov district. The victim has reportedly described one of the assailants as Romani.

Ultra-right extremists and neo-Nazis from the Workers' Social Justice Party (Dělnická strana sociální spravedlnosti - DSSS) and its youth organization, Workers' Youth (Dělnická mládež - DM) intend to exploit anti-Romani sentiment in the town. The DM has announced a protest action this Sunday in Břeclav, beginning at 9:00 CET and ending at 20:00. The protest will start at the main train station in Břeclav. "The conveners met the legal requirements for the event to take place. For the time being there is no reason to ban it," the Břeclav town spokesperson said.

"We will be deploying all of the patrol officers and technology we have onto the streets. There will also be state police officers here from the South Moravian Region. I would like to make it clear that we will not allow Břeclav to be destroyed, especially not by people from somewhere in North Bohemia. Once the event is over, they will have to get it together to leave town," Břeclav Municipal Police Chief Stanislav Hrdlička said in a firm message intended for the neo-Nazis.

South Moravian Governor Michal Hašek (Czech Social Democrats - ČSSD) said people should not succumb to their emotions or throw themselves into a wave of racist and xenophobic actions. He said Sunday's assembly has been announced by more than one group with whom there have been enormous problems in the past from the standpoint of ensuring public order.

Mayor of Břeclav Oldřich Ryšavý (ČSSD) made a similar statement. "I would be unhappy if the march were to be exploited by extremists wanting to address the situation and instil order. I would be very sorry to see Břeclav become another Šluknov," he told the Mediafax press agency.

Hašek attended a meeting of the Břeclav town hall on the security situation in the town. After the meeting he told the press that the Regional Government is prepared to help Břeclav with any and all projects leading to increased security and to the inclusion of Romani people into mainstream society. Hašek mentioned the option of an extraordinary regional subsidy to expand the town's CCTV system.

"Modernizing the CCTV system will not solve all of these problems, but it can help the situation. I am sorry about what happened. The perpetrator must be found and punished irrespective of his skin color or other factors, the law must apply equally to everyone," the Governor said of the assault. He said the Břeclav case should inspire the Czech Government not to enact radical budget cuts reducing security in the country.

Czech Government Human Rights Commissioner Monika Šimůnková also visited Břeclav today. During a meeting with the press, she said people should not forget that the assault on the boy was a crime committed by individuals and that the entire Romani community is definitely not responsible for it.

Many Romani people have condemned the attack while pointing out that it was a crime committed by individuals, not by a particular group. Tomáš Kužel, director of the South Moravian Police, has also made similar statements. "Crimes like this one have occurred, are occurring, and will occur. We recorded this kind of behavior by individuals not just one year ago, but also 10 and even 20 years ago," Kužel said.

ČTK, Gwendolyn Albert, Zdeněk Ryšavý, ryz, Czech Press Agency, Mediafax, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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