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Czech Republic: Racists attempt to murder Romani family in their home

Nýrsko, 5.8.2011 15:48, (ROMEA)

The Červeňáks, a Romani family, have been living in harmony with their neighbors for 30 years in Nýrsko, but on Saturday that town's usually calm Tyršova street turned into a bloody battlefield when two racists armed with baseball bats attacked the Červeňák home. After almost half an hour of physical combat, the perpetrators fled the scene defeated, but sent word to their Romani targets later that they would revenge themselves by "offing" the entire family. News server Novinky.cz reports the Červeňáks are now living in fear, locked inside their home and not venturing outside.

"We send a white girl to do our shopping. We are terrified. We don't know what will happen to us next," Anna Červeňáková said. "It never occurred to me that they would single us out. We have no disputes with anyone, we behave respectably and get along with everyone here. We are not criminals, we are not hooligans, we all go to work like everyone else," the 60-year-old Romani woman said.

The incident occurred around 5 PM. "The children came running into the house shouting that they were being chased by skinheads. Then the doorbell rang. My niece opened the window and a 200-pound hulk with a shaved head waved a baseball bat at her from the street. She quickly shut the window and they started pounding on the door," Miroslav Červeňák said. He got up the courage to open the door to find out what was going on.

"I was punched the minute I opened the door. Then they grabbed me and dragged me about 50 meters. I called for help. All I can remember is lying on the ground unable to breathe. They wrapped a sweatshirt around my neck and pulled it tighter and tighter. I lost consciousness completely," the 29-year-old man recalls of those dramatic moments. His mother was the first to come to his aid.

"I pulled the bat from one of the skinhead's hands and hit the man who was strangling my son on the spine with it, but it had no effect. Míra was completely white, his eyes were rolled back in his head and he wasn't moving. I was afraid they would kill him. I started to scream hysterically," said Anna Červeňáková.

Her husband, who had been awakened by his grandchildren, joined the fight. "I jumped on the most aggressive brawler and twisted his leg with all my strength. That helped and he let the boy go. He shouted that we were 'black swine' and that they had come to kill us," Vojtěch Červeňák said. Other relatives had made it to the scene and the balance of forces started to be reversed. "As soon as I came to, I took the baseball bat from my mother and hit the man who had strangled me in the head several times," Miroslav Červeňák said.

Both of the assailants fled, saying "fuck it". The daily Právo reports that they left town in a vehicle but had an accident on the road. The driver was unable to control the vehicle, running into a low concrete barrier after swerving out of the lane. It later turned out his blood alcohol level was above the legal level.

According to the local Klatovský deník, the perpetrator who received blows with the baseball bat to the upper part of his body required medical treatment. "Police called us to the scene. A man born in 1988 with head injuries was brought to the Klatovská Hospital for surgery," said Lenka Ptáčková, regional spokesperson for emergency services.

"My son is already home from the hospital. I can't explain what has happened. I have never heard that my son had any problems with Romani people, he definitely is no racist," said the injured man's mother, who holds a fairly important job in Klatovy.

Police have already initiated criminal proceedings. "In the beginning we investigated this as a misdemeanor, and then we reclassified it as a felony. We are investigating and cannot give any further information at this time," Dana Ladmannová, spokesperson for the Klatovy Police, told news server Romea.cz.

Other sources say the perpetrators, who are 18 and 23 years old, respectively, face charges of committing racially motivated violence and driving under the influence of alcohol. Police officers are researching whether the Romani people's actions constituted necessary defense.

František Kostlán, Gwendolyn Albert, František Kostlán, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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