Czech senator's anti-Romany rhetoric checked by police
The Ostrava detectives have been dealing with what some call racist statements against Romanies made by Czech senator and mayor of district Marianske Hory a Hulvaky Liana Janackova (for Independents, SNK), local state attorney's spokesman David Bartos told CTK today.
The police are also checking similar statements by Jiri Jezersky, another senior official in Ostrava, Bartos added.
Janackova was fiercely criticised after a recording had been published where she used some controversial statements about Romanies.
"Unfortunately, I am a racist, I disagree with the integration of gypsies so that they would live across the area," she said among others in reaction to complaints by locals about bad behaviour of their Romany neighbours.
"The detectives started dealing with the case on July 13 at their own instigation," Bartos said.
"The first criminal lawsuit, lodged by the civic group Romea, only reached us these days," he added.
"At present, no criminal prosecution of any specific person is being led. The detectives are only checking the suspicion of the crime of defamation of ethnic group, race and conviction," Bartos said.
Janackova has apologised for her statement, explaining it that they were said in a tense atmosphere, at a meeting when some local residents complained about Romanies' behaviour.
She said she would not resign from her post of deputy chairwoman of Senate human rights committee.
The legal complaint was supported by further eight organisations and a number of prominent figures, including former government human rights commissioner Petr Uhl, former deputy ombudsman Anna Sabatova and Jana Horvatova, director of the Museum of Romany Culture in Brno (more here...).
Further complaints have followed.
Earlier this year, another Czech senator - Deputy Prime Minister and Christian Democrat (KDU-CSL) leader Jiri Cunek - causes fierce disputes over his statements about Romanies.
Cunek indicated Romanies were sunburnt people who made fires and a mess at squares and who did not want to work.
Activists and Romany NGOs filed a complaint against Cunek then, too. Some parties condemned his statements and some demanded his resignation. However, Cunek whom police also accused of corruption has managed to keep his posts.
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