Janáčková backs candidate Jezerský, who wanted to shoot Roma
According to Czech Senator Liana Janáčková, who is also the Mayor of the Mariánské Hory and Hulváky district of Ostrava, a local ODS party cell is behind recent criticism of municipal elections candidate Jiří Jezerský. "It is transparently na?ve how ODS is trying to disqualify the competition, TOP 09. They don’t dare come after me,” on-line daily TÝDEN.CZ reports Janáčková has self-confidently claimed. Local human rights activist Kumar Vishwanathan informed news server Romea.cz of Jezerský’s candidacy. Jezerský previously expressed the desire to shoot the Roma in the Bedřiška settlement.
"The ODS party? No, this is my personal initiative. I do my best to be impartial, and if a member of ODS were to make similar remarks I would draw attention to them in exactly the same way,” Romea.cz quotes Vishwanathan as saying.
Both Janáčková and Jezerský were previously ODS members but left the party six years ago. Janáčková was then briefly a member of the Party of Free Citizens (Strana svobodných občanů) and is now a candidate for the Independents (Nezávislé). The senator is defending her former party colleague and even talking of suing. "My colleague was acquitted by two courts. I don’t know who it is that dares to doubt his innocence. I would not be surprised if he defended himself by suing,” Janáčková told the on-line daily TÝDEN.CZ. "I have the constitutional right to run and be elected,” Jezerský told TÝDEN.CZ. He does not believe the previous lawsuit against him should disqualify him in any way whatsoever.
According to police, both politicians made racist remarks at a public meeting of the housing department on 15 August 2006 in the course of discussing complaints about Roma being moved into the district from elsewhere in Ostrava. News server Romea.cz was the first to release an audio recording of the comments. Janáčková and Jezerský, who was Vice-Mayor at the time, defended the town hall’s segregation policy which aimed to concentrate Roma at the Bedřiška settlement. Police investigated the remarks and came to the conclusion they were racist. Janáčková was protected from further prosecution by her senatorial immunity. Jezerský was acquitted by courts in Ostrava.
"Give me a gun license and a permit to shoot and I’ll go do it,” Jezerský said at the meeting. Janáčková said: "I don’t agree with any sort of integration, unfortunately I am a racist, I do not agree with the integration of Gypsies. Unfortunately we chose Bedřiška, so that is where they will be. With a high fence, an electric one, it’s all the same to me.”
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