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ERRC and Amnesty International call on Czech Govt to eliminate violence against Romani people

Budapest/Prague, 2.3.2012 15:55, (ROMEA)

In a letter to the Czech Government, the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC), Amnesty International, and the Hate is No Solution initiative have expressed their concern over the ongoing violence against Romani people in the Czech Republic. The organizations are calling on the executive to take rapid action to prevent the continuation of violence and to pledge that all attacks will be properly investigated.

During the past six months, the ERRC has noted 23 cases of violence committed against Romani people in the Czech Republic, including three cases that resulted in fatalities. An increased number of hate marches against Romani people took place last year as well.

The organizations also said 11 arson attacks against Romani dwellings have occurred in the Czech Republic in recent years. In only three of those cases did the Police of the Czech Republic apprehend suspects.

Thomas Hammarberg, Human Rights Commissioner for the Council of Europe, recently published a report on the human rights of Roma and Travellers in Europe. In that report, he drew attention to violent attacks against Romani people in the Czech Republic, in addition to other matters.

ERRC, Amnesty International, and the Hate is No Solution initiative also reminded the Czech authorities that they are obliged under international law to ensure the physical integrity and safety of their citizens and a non-discriminatory environment. The organizations therefore demand the following:

• That politicians and other public officials openly and publicly condemn attacks against Romani people;

• That politicians and other public officials refrain from making public anti-Romani declarations which might exacerbate what is already a highly tense situation;

• That state and other police units be deployed in a proportionate number to ensure the safety of Romani inhabitants in the relevant places;

• That the relevant institutions properly investigate and criminally prosecute all persons suspected of committing crimes against Romani people and that the perpetrators be brought to trial in accordance with international standards;

• That the appropriate training on hate crimes be provided to police members and the staff of other authorities involved in criminal proceedings.

European Roma Rights Centre
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