Green Party says Czech Interior Minister must guarantee proper investigation of tragic incident in Žatec
The Green Party in the Czech Republic believes the Interior Minister must guarantee the state will take an interest in properly investigating last month's incident in a pizzeria in the town of Žatec during which a 26-year-old Romani man died. There are suspicions that the intervention performed by uniformed officers was not proportionate in terms of the use of force.
Video footage from the pizzeria was first broadcast by news server Romea.cz and indicates that the man who died was struck by a customer during the local police intervention. The Czech Government Council for Roma Community Affairs and the Council of Europe have called on Interior Minister Chovanec and Police President Tuhý to thoroughly investigate the incident.
"Many people consider this man's death to have been murder. The situation in the town has been tense ever since the incident. That is why it is necessary to pay exceptional attention to it and to proceed as transparently as possible. Minister Chovanec should commit to calming the growing racial tension in Žatec. The best way would be to publicly guarantee a thorough investigation of this case. The Government Council has called on him to do that already," Matěj Stropnický, chair of the Green Party. said in a press release on 5 November.
"Police interventions must be proportionate under all circumstances. The investigation must also check whether the behavior of some of the other customers and the local police was racially motivated. This is not the first problematic police intervention there has been this year," said Monika Horáková, a member of the Green Party's governing body, in that press release.
Police say the first autopsy performed on the youth ruled out any third-party involvement in his death. Detectives are continuing to investigate the case, however.
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