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Czech Republic: Victims of assault say "Don't blame all Roma"

Duchcov, 15.2.2014 20:53, (ROMEA)
The assault in Duchcov in the summer of 2013 was captured by a municipal police security camera.
The assault in Duchcov in the summer of 2013 was captured by a municipal police security camera.

The married couple who became the target of a brutal attack last year in the town of Duchcov have called on the Czech media to take a sensitive approach to their case, which will go to trial at the end of February. In a letter to the media, the couple emphasize that they do not want the attack against them to be interpreted as an attack by "the Roma against whites or to serve as a pretext for hatred and the incitement of racial intolerance".

"I am taking the liberty of sending you a letter from my clients in which they request that you respect their privacy with respect to the case of their assault, which will go on trial at the end of February and which has already been followed by the media in detail," reads a statement sent to news server Romea.cz by the attorney for the victims, Klára Kalibová of the Law Offices of Mazel & Směja. "Our law office joins our clients' request and asks that you thoroughly consider which details you will publicize and the extent of the coverage you will give to the case. In particular, we would like to point out that there are legal protections regarding personal and sensitive data that include protection from unauthorized publicizing of the names of the victims, their medical records, photographs of their person, their correspondence, and other similar documents."  

News server Romea.cs publishes the letter below in full translation:

Duchcov, 13 February 2014

Dear Members of the Press,

We are writing to ask that you take a sensitive approach to the case of the assault committed against us in Duchcov, which will go to trial at the end of February. This irrational attack has deeply shaken our lives.  

Everything has changed for us. The horrors we have experienced are hard to describe.

We never believed we would be able to survive the assault. The psychological repercussions of it have greatly impeded our personal, social, and work lives.  

All of the Czech media have made the attack against us a topic. Video footage of it is freely available on the internet for anyone to see.  

We are continually reminded of the brutality of the assault to which we were subjected. Our loved ones, who feared for us then and who fear for us today, are also continually reminded of it.

We do not want the attack against us to be interpreted as an attack by the Roma against whites or to serve as a pretext for hatred and the incitement of racial intolerance. Our perception is that we were assaulted by a group of violent thugs, and such people exist in every nation. 

Some of your colleagues have downloaded private photos of ours, without our permission, from social networking sites and are freely disseminating them. They are referring to us with familiar names irrespective of whether we want them to or not. 

We have become the target of media interest only because we were attacked by strangers. We never intended to appear in the media before this and we do not want to appear in the media today.

The media are contacting our loved ones and want them to make statements about the assault. Some media crews are patrolling in the vicinity of our residence.

We do not want this and we are asking you to respect our privacy and our psychological state. Please try to imagine for a moment what it would be like if the media were to report the kind of information about you yourselves that you are broadcasting about us.

Consider whether the information you are communicating to the world, information that will never disappear from the public arena once broadcast, is harming us and our loved ones and causing us more trauma. Please do not publish details about our private life, about the attack, or about the repercussions of this crime.

This letter is our full statement about the impact of those events on our lives. Please respect that.

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Tags:  

Duchcov, Extremism, Napadení, Racism, Roma



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