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August 16, 2018
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Former Czech Human Rights Minister says the entire country should campaign against denial of Romani genocide

11.2.2018 7:17
Michael Kocáb (Teplice, 2018). (PHOTO: Jan Mihaliček)
Michael Kocáb (Teplice, 2018). (PHOTO: Jan Mihaliček)

On Wednesday, 7 February, former Czech Human Rights Minister Michael Kocáb commented at a press conference announcing the results of the fundraising drive called "THEY WANT TO GAS THEM, WE WANT TO SEND THEM TO SCHOOL!" about the recent remarks made the chair of the SPD party, who is also the vice-chair of the Chamber of Deputies. He highlighted the responses of politicians who have objected to Czech MP Okamura's remarks, which in his view have crossed a certain line.

Kocáb expressed appreciation for the campaign supporting the primary school on Plynárenská Street in Teplice where first-graders were targeted for hateful racist commentaries after their class photo was published by the daily Teplický deník, saying it was an example of an immediate response to such hate speech. "The campaign chose a rather radial slogan for its name, one that clearly says 'No, that path is long since behind us', we will not play around with the phrase 'to the gas chambers' - what is that, in the 21st century? The most horrible event, maybe, that humanity has ever experienced, decidedly the most horrible event of the last millenium, the Holocaust, and somebody dares to say such a thing at all? We must immediately object to such speech. It's like Tomio Okamura,  if he's interested - yesterday on television he asked somebody to explain to him what the camp at Lety was about. I have written to him here about how it actually was," said the former Czech Human Rights Minister as he gestured to materials about the history of the Lety camp he had with him.

"It was a concentration camp with a direct connection to Auschwitz, the death camp, it prepared the annihilation there, and the question of whether there were fences there is absolutely inappropriate for him to raise at all, after all, we know what happened in connection with the Holocaust. If he is complaining that a campaign is being waged against him now, well yes, nobody should refute that, the entire country should be campaigning against such opinions, constantly, from all corners of our country there should be protests heard against such speech," Kocáb said.

bau, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Michael Kocáb, Racism, Teplice, Tomio Okamura


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Tomáš Ščuka: Romani people need competent representation first and foremost, not Romani representation at all costs

1.8.2018 10:04
I would like to discuss one of the big deficiencies in the Romani community, and that is the active participation of Romani people in political life. Thanks to the existence of online social networks, which make communications and the opportunity to share opinions so easy, we have recently been able to follow different calls to action, discussions, and similar inputs from the widest possible sample of Romani people across the Czech Republic who are frequently expressing their views of the necessity for higher participation by our community and sharing their perspectives.
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Edita Stejskalová calls on Czech Govt to create the position of Commissioner for Romani Affairs

1.8.2018 6:48
Speaking yesterday at a demonstration in Prague, Edita Stejskalová, a civil society member of the Czech Government Council on Romani Minority Affairs, called for the Czech Government to immediately create the position of a Commissioner for Romani Affairs. "Romani people do not live in poverty and social exclusion by choice! Romani people are entitled to equal, fair treatment! Romani people do not want to live on the fringes of society! Romani people are demanding that EU institutions and their own Governments educate society to respect the rights of all citizens, and we ask the courts to thoroughly punish advocacy of political opinions based on theories of racial superiority! Romani people demand adequate protection of their lives and personalysecurity, as is guaranteed to all citizens! Romani people demand active, seriously-conceived participation from the national to the international level in decision-making processes," she called on the authorities in a speech that news server is publishing in full translation below.
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Slovak Govt Plenipotentiary for the Romani Community: Žilina is a textbook example of hate crime

27.7.2018 8:12
The recent attack on Romani people in Žilina, Slovakia, one of whom is hospitlaized with a brain hemorrhage, is a textbook example of hate crime according to the Slovak Government Plenipotentiary for the Romani Community, Ábel Ravasz (a member of the Most-Híd party), and should be prosecuted as one. The chair of the Romani Union civic association in Slovakia (ÚRS), František Tanko, says Romani people abroad and in Slovakia are outraged by the racist crime and have announced a protest march in Žilina.
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