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Czech town, home to Romani arson victims, bans neo-Nazi march there

Budišov, 15.5.2014 18:50, (ROMEA)
The neo-Nazi Pavel Sládek Matějný (in the white t-shirt with the megaphone) was the main organizer of an anti-Romani demonstration in the town of Vítkov on 3 August 2013. Vítkov is the place where neo-Nazis firebombed a Romani home in 2009, almost burning an infant to death.
The neo-Nazi Pavel Sládek Matějný (in the white t-shirt with the megaphone) was the main organizer of an anti-Romani demonstration in the town of Vítkov on 3 August 2013. Vítkov is the place where neo-Nazis firebombed a Romani home in 2009, almost burning an infant to death.

The town of Budišov nad Budišovkou has banned a march by neo-Nazis planned for 7 June. Petr Born, chair of the ultra-right DSSS in Nový Jičín (who is, paradoxically, an owner of Romani-occupied residential hotels in Ostrava) and Pavel Matějný, a member of the "Czech Lions" association and convener of many past anti-Romani neo-Nazi demonstrations, want to hold the march in response to the recent death of a youth there.

The local authority has decided to ban the event because they believe those convening it have broken the law on assembly. The announced plan included marching past the building where the family of Natálie, a Romani girl who was almost burned to death after a neo-Nazi arson attack in 2009, now lives.     

Organizers called their march a "memorial service" for Viktor Švarc, who recently died in Budišov. The cause of his death has not yet been determined and police are investigating various versions of what might have happened. 

Rumors circulating in Budišov say Viktor Švarc died as a result of extensive injury to his skull - even though an autopsy has ruled that out - and the family of the deceased does not agree with the official finding that he died of an epileptic seizure. "I want just one thing:  For those who did this to my brother to be punished. It's all the same to me whether they were Romani or white. The color of their skin is not important," the sister of the deceased youth told news server Deník.cz.

The conveners of the march are sticking to their own, unverified version of what they believe happened, alleging that three Romani people murdered Viktor Švarc, and are evidently hoping to once again exploit another human tragedy in order to get publicity and spark violence in the town. When the fact that Natálie's family lives in Budišov surfaced on Facebook, several hateful racist commentaries calling for violence were posted, such as one by a David Heller that read "In that case, bring Molotov cocktails...."

The town has published its justification of the ban on its official website. In its view, the announcer of the event has already broken the law by failing to precisely define the purpose of the event in the announcement.

That lack of information makes it impossible for the town to determine whether the event might ultimately violate the law on assembly in other ways were it to go forward. Authorities also said the announcement of such an event seriously conflicts with the town's best interests.

voj, Deník.cz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Tags:  

Demonstrace, DSSS, Facebook, Kriminalita



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