Czech Senate unable to decide on discrimination against Romanies
The session of the Czech Senate on whether human rights were violated when Romanies were evicted from their homes in Vsetin, North Moravia, to other regions in Moravia last year did not arrive at any conclusion today.
The dispute focused on the circumstances of the eviction and the state of the houses to which the Romanies were removed.
According to the senators who have visited them, they are in a disastrous state. This relates to the water, electricity and waste utilities, senator Josef Pavlata (the Civic Democratic Party, ODS) said.
He described the Romanies' removal as deportation. Senator Milan Bures (ODS) argued that their right to dignity, reputation, freedom of residence and information had been violated.
He said that the Romanies had not been allowed to take a look at their future acommodation, while one of the houses was called uninhabitable.
Vsetin deputy mayor Lubomir Gajdusek (KDU-CSL) resolutely dismissed the arguments. He said that the town hall had had expert reports on the houses drafted and that the Romanies could be informed thanks to the photographic documentation and during the transfer.
Besides, the town hall has given them loans for repair works, Gajdusek said.
Coordinator of Romany aides of the Olomouc region Renata Kottnerova criticised the Vsetin town hall for having chosen the localities for Romanies with high unemployment and lack of field workers.
The meeting was attended by Jiri Cunek, Local Development Minister, leader of the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) and former mayor of Vsetin. He repeated that the town hall could evict the Romany rent-defaulters from the ramshackle Vsetin house to the street, but it preferred a different solution.
The senators from the human rights committee eventually postponed their meeting until they receive the final report about the case from ombudsman Otakar Motejl.
The Vsetin town hall started the demolition of the ramshackle house last October. It ejected the local rent-defaulters, mostly of Romany origin, to other houses, some of them outside the town. At that time, the town hall was led by Cunek.
Thirteen criminal complaints have been lodged against Cunek over the case.
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