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September 21, 2021

 

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Editor-in-Chief of Czech media outlet appeals direct sentencing for publishing antigypsyist content, the case will be heard in open court

29.7.2021 5:47
The producer and distributor of the Vlastenecké noviny (
The producer and distributor of the Vlastenecké noviny ("Patriotic News") daily is Česká expedice ("Czech Dispatch"), which is run by the Centrální informační agenturou, z. s. ("Central Information Agency", a registered civic association) based in Ostrava, Czech Republic. The director of that agency and the website's main figure is Radek Velička. (Collage: Romea.cz)

News server Denik.cz reports that Radek Velička, editor-in-chief of the Vlastenecké noviny ("Patriotic News") extremist media outlet, is appealing the sentencing handed down against him by court order at the end of June from the District Court in Ostrava, Czech Republic on charges of having published a racist article after last year's tragic apartment fire in Bohumín (Karviná district). On 8 August 2020, 11 people including several children died during the blaze in a prefabricated apartment building there. 

Velička authored a piece stating that both the alleged perpetrator of the arson and the victims had been Romani and described the deceased as having been harmful "parasites". Later that same month, together with the first vice-chair of the Pirate Party, Czech MP Olga Richterová, the ROMEA organization filed a crime report against Velička and others who authored racist commentaries in relation to the tragedy. 

The article was published in Vlastenecké noviny, which is an extremist online outlet, with the headline "Eleven gypsies less. Some of it burned up and some of it jumped out of the window", describing the children who were victims of the tragedy as "gypsy cubs" and citizens of Romani origin as "overproduced parasites". The term "barbecue of gypsies" was used to describe the tragedy itself. 

Velička has appealed the court's decision, which means the verdict is no longer in effect and the court must arrange for a classic trial in which his guilt or innocence will be decided, as well as his eventual punishment. The Vlasteneckenoviny.cz website stopped being updated after the crime report was filed and police began investigating the case; it is currently no longer working at all. 

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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antigypsyism, Extremism, Pirátská strana, Police



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