Czech Republic: Rioters assault Romani children's choir in Hodonín
Several youths assaulted the members of the children's choir Čhavorenge last Friday night in the Czech town of Hodonín. The injuries suffered were abrasions; none of the 19 young singers needed medical treatment.
"I don't believe this assault had a racial subtext," said Ida Kelarová, the Romani singer who is the choir mistress of the ensemble. Police are now looking for the five youths involved to charge them with rioting.
Čhavorenge are now rehearsing with the choir of the Barbastella High School in Hodonín for a joint performance on 19 December in Brno's Wannieck Gallery. The aim of the concert is to show the public that music can erase cultural and traditional differences.
Both choirs rehearsed their joint performance in Hodonín last weekend. When the 19 members of Čhavorenge were returning to their dormitory on Friday (including children as young as eight), they were assaulted in Velkomoravská Street by unidentified youths. The motive for the attack is unclear, but everything ended after some kicks, punches and shoving.
"Medical treatment was not necessary. The assault did not have a racial subtext, but we want police to investigate nonetheless, find the attackers, and punish them according to the law," Kelarová said.
Police spokesperson Petr Zámečník said detectives are now looking for the youths involved. "For the time being we are gathering background material on this matter. Those who committed this violence face charges of rioting once we find them," he said.
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