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Czech senator not to resign over her words on Romanies - Sobotka

Prague, 18.7.2007 15:37, (CTK)

Senator Liana Janackova (for the Independents, SNK) does not plan to resign as deputy head of the human rights committee over her strong words about Romanies, Senate chairman Premysl Sobotka (Civic Democrats, ODS) told CTK today after meeting Janackova.

"She is not considering leaving her post. It is her own decision and I can have no right to interfere in it," Sobotka said.

He added that Janackova repeatedly apologised for the situation caused by her statements. He recalled that the SNK group has not called on her to resign.

Janackova was fiercely criticised after a recording had been published where she used some controversial statements about Romanies from a district of the city of Ostrava, north Moravia, where she is the mayor.

"Unfortunately, I am a racist, I disagree with the integration of gypsies so that they would live across the area. Unfortunately, we have chosen the (settlement) Bedriska and so they will stay there, with a high fence, with electricity," Janackova said.
She allegedly also spoke about Romanies having many children and about dynamite.

Janackova first challenged the authenticity of the recording and said it was a political attack on her.

On Tuesday, she admitted her statements were unfortunate and unsuitable. "The words certainly should not have been said," she told journalists, adding that she had said them in a tense atmosphere.

Sobotka said such statements are politically unacceptable.

He said he did not expect the Senate session, opening today, to discuss Janackova's statements.

Romany organisations, former deputy ombudsman Anna Sabatova and former government human rights commissioner Petr Uhl want to sue Janackova over defamation of ethnic origin, race and conviction.

The Senate will probably deal with the case after the complaint is filed.

Sobotka today repeatedly said that if police ask the Senate to strip Janackova off immunity, he will vote in support of the stripping.

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Czech republic, Liana Janáčková



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