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Czech town files suit against activist for allegedly spreading false information

Ústí nad Labem, 6.3.2013 22:02, (ROMEA)
An evacuated building in the Předlice quarter. The sign reads
An evacuated building in the Předlice quarter. The sign reads "Entry Forbidden! Danger of Injury!" Photo: František Kostlán

The town of Ústí nad Labem has published a list of the most seriously damaged buildings in the municipal departments of Krásné Březno and Předlice. According to the findings of the town hall's experts, no people are physically living in any of them.

That contravenes claims made by the Konexe civic association, which issued a press release last week stating that families with children are living in the buildings and that another wave of evacuations is being planned. The town has filed criminal charges against the association's representative, Miroslav Brož.

"According to our information, there is a list of five buildings in Předlice occupied by families with children who have to be evacuated in the next wave. Some of the buildings there are in such a poor state of repair that they are at risk of immediate collapse and their occupants' lives are in danger," said Friday's press release by the Konexe civic association, of which Brož is the legal representative.

The town has responded to this press release by filing criminal charges. "In connection with the untrue claims made by Miroslav Brož of the Konexe association about people living in buildings at risk of collapse, the town has filed criminal charges with the police for spreading alarming news," the town's press release reads.

According to municipal representatives, some people are still permanently registered at some of the addresses concerned even though they no longer reside in the buildings. A proposal has been announced to cancel their permanent residences at those addresses. The full list of condemned buildings can be seen (in Czech only) at http://www.romea.cz/dokumenty/seznam-usti-domy.pdf

The Konexe association welcomed the publication of the list of devastated buildings. "We very much welcome the fact that the town has finally published this secret list. There are still buildings occupied by families with children in Předlice, and if they are not on the list, then that will show that the town has not fully studied the situation there. We would like to draw the attention of these institutions primarily to building 128/4 on Řeháčkova street which, according to our own layperson's conclusions, is at risk of immediately collapsing and burying its occupants," Brož told news server Romea.cz. That building is included on the list in the category of "reparable or under repair".

Most of the private owners of the devastated buildings are not communicating with the town. They do not respond to its calls and are taking no steps to correct their situations. Many of them have addresses outside of Ústí nad Labem. Collections proceedings have been started against all of the private buildings.

The town lists 15 buildings that are considered "reparable or under repair". Eight of those also have collections proceedings or liens underway against them.

"The situation in that area is constantly changing. Some of the buildings have new owners as part of the collections proceedings, while elsewhere the devastation continues. The town is monitoring the state of the jeopardized buildings. On the basis of current data, the costs to demolish all of the seriously damaged buildings are estimated at tens of millions of crowns. Clearance of the garbage that has accumulated inside the buildings will require another several million crowns," the town's press release says.

Zdeněk Ryšavý, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Aktuality, Děti, Kauza, Komunální, Kriminalita, Neziskový sektor, Osobnosti, Policie, Ubytování, Ústí nad labem, Vystěhování, zprávy, Aktivismus, Miroslav Brož, občanské sdružení, sociální bydlení, sociální služby, sociální vyloučení, Czech republic, Ghetto, Housing, Konexe, o. s., news, úklid



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