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September 22, 2021



Marcel Ščuka: Romani man's corpse was not properly refrigerated, Czech Police allegedly lost his clothes

13.11.2016 19:46
Marcel Ščuka
Marcel Ščuka

Marcel Ščuka, a Romani community member who attended Friday's meeting with Czech Interior Minister Milan Chovanec regarding the death of Miroslav Demeter, a young Romani man, on 18 October in a pizzeria in the town of Žatec, recapitulated what happened at the meeting by broadcasting live through his Facebook profile and revealed some information about the ongoing investigation. Ščuka also called for the establishment of a new Romani political movement.

Meeting with the Czech Interior Minister

Despite the Czech Interior Minister assuring the Romani representatives that investigation of the case is the highest priority and that a special team has been created in the Ústecký Region to supervise it, Ščuka said he and his colleagues have asked for the entire case to be investigated outside of that region because of ties between police officers and staff at the pizzeria where the man died. According to him, not all of the witnesses to the crime were interrogated at the time and they are only being questioned now after pressure from the media and politicians.

"We asked the Supreme State Prosecutor for a thorough investigation of the intervention against the man who was harmed," Ščuka said, adding that racial motivation for the attack must be taken into consideration. "Would such a massive intervention have happened if the victim had been a member of the majority?"

Miroslav Hamouz, the uncle of the deceased, told the Czech Interior Minister at the meeting that Demeter's clothing has yet to be returned to his family. He alleged that police are claiming to have lost it.

On Friday, Ščuka also told news server that prior to the second autopsy requested by the family of the deceased, the corpse was not properly handled and spent several days without refrigeration. He also said two law firms are working on the case now and the entire situation must be calmed.

"One Prague law firm is working on the case that was hired by the deceased's family, and one Brno law firm has been hired by the Statewide Association of Socially Responsible Romani Associations and Entrepreneurs in the Czech Republic," Ščuka said. He also noted that the entire case could not be investigated in just a couple of days and that time must be given to it.

Online referendum about a new Romani political movement

In the second part of his speech, Ščuka discussed the participation of Romani people in political life in the Czech Republic and the opportunities for establishing a new Romani political movement. The establishment of such a movement and the election of its representatives is something he would like to implement with the aid of Romani people casting a nationwide vote online.

"I want to launch an online referendum about the opportunities for establishing a new Roma political movement," he said, calling on all Romani people who believe they are capable of leading such a new movement to run as candidates. "Those who will win support will deserve to be leaders of this new Romani political movement."

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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