Czech Republic: Romani candidate in regional elections physically assaulted
The "Citizens for the town, the town for the citizens" movement ("Občané městu, město občanům" - OMMO) has issued the following press release:
Mr Marian Dancso, the lead candidate of the "Citizens for the town, the town for the citizens" movement ("Občané městu, město občanům" - OMMO) in the upcoming elections to the council of Ústí Region was physically attacked in front of his mother's apartment building on Novostavbách street in the municipality of Lom – Loučná [near Litvínov - Editor's Note] on Thursday 27 September 2012 just before 5:30 AM. He was assaulted by two unidentified male perpetrators who struck him with some kind of object as he was leaving the building, evidently a brick or some other kind of rough material, judging from the injuries to his face.
Mr Dancso did his best to defend himself, but was subjected to punches, and then kicks after being knocked to the ground. The perpetrators then left in a small, light-colored vehicle, perhaps a Škoda Favorit. At 5:34 AM the victim called the Czech Police. After ascertaining the facts, the police recommended Mr Dancso seek medical treatment and then come to the district department of the Czech Police to file charges. The victim had no choice but to find his own transportation to the hospital (!?) and called a friend, who drove him in his own car.
At the Mostecké Hospital a medical examination found a slight concussion, bruises on the left side of the face and forehead, a broken rib which might even be dislocated and fractured, and another rib which was cracked. Mr Dancso then visited the District Department of the Police of the Czech Republic in Lom, where he spent approximately two hours giving a statement.
The leadership of OMMO has many reasons to believe this incident may have been politically motivated because of the movement's activities in revealing some of the practices of other political actors in the Most district. All previous attempts to terrorize Mr Dancso and the OMMO movement have failed. The rumors that have been spread about Mr Dancso, who is currently in opposition as a municipal councilor, as well as those spread about other members of the opposition in Lom, have not found much of a response among the citizens there. It cannot be a coincidence that this physical assault took place on the day after the launching of the website "Lom opposition" (Lomská opozice), which intends to reveal the behavior and negotiations undertaken by the governing coalition in Lom, currently composed of the parties Severočeši.cz ("NorthBohemians.cz"), ODS (Civic Democrats), VV (Public Affairs), and the deciding vote of Ing. J. Nétka, a former mayor of Lom from the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia.
The leadership of OMMO believes that this assault on Mr Dancos, who is a Lom town councilor and OMMO's lead candidate in the regional elections, is also indirectly connected to how the entire situation in Most district, Varnsdorf district, and other places in Ústí Region with respect to minorities, Romani people in particular, has become exacerbated. The statements made, for example, by Czech Senator Doubrava (Severočeši.cz) and other influential politicians have been described by many commentators, political columnists and political scientists as extremely racist and xenophobic.
The leadership of OMMO calls on the citizens, the public and other candidates not to be deterred or frightened away from efforts to change the way in which regional administrations, the administrations of towns and villages, and the entire Czech Republic itself is governed, organized and managed. We ask that the editors of media outlets finally start objectively reporting about what is going on inside some of these parties and how they behave and negotiate. We also expect that the Police of the Czech Republic will not close its investigation of this incident, as it has closed previous ones, with the brief announcement that "the investigation is halted, the perpetrator is unidentified."
Leoš Vaněk, chair, OMMO
Hana Svobodová, first vice-chair, OMMO
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