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Mayor and police in Czech town correct the record about assault incident to make clear Romani people were not involved as first alleged

6.9.2021 6:56
The bus station in Jihlava, Czech Republic. (PHOTO: Mapy.cz)
The bus station in Jihlava, Czech Republic. (PHOTO: Mapy.cz)

During the late night hours of 10 August and early morning hours of 11 August, people were assaulted at the bus station in Jihlava, Czech Republic, and one of the alleged victims told the media that the men who committed the attack were Romani - but that was not actually the case. Mayor of Jihlava Karolina Koubová has corrected the record to the press and regional police spokesperson Dana Čírtková has also confirmed it.   

"Those were not Romani people, the police will confirm that to you," the mayor said, according to the local Jihlavské listy news server. The regional police spokesperson told news server Romea.cz that "I can confirm Madame Mayor's words", and went on to say that just three men had committed the assault instead of eight as first reported.

One of the alleged victims told the media in mid-August that "It was a group of about seven or eight Roma, they wanted us to give them our bags, whatever we had on us." His allegations sparked a wave of hatred on social media against all Roma, using the principle of collective guilt.

Police who responded to the incident arrested two of the attackers on the street and arrested the third later that morning in his residence. The Police Commissioner then filed a motion with the prosecutor for one of the accused to be remanded into custody.

The court agreed and officers have since escorted that defendant into pretrial custody. The other two accused were released on their own recognizance.

This is not an isolated case of Romani people being falsely accused of having committed crimes. The violent crimes reported by the media are quite often attributed to Romani people by online discussers.

In the year 2012 in Břeclav, a 15-year-old boy made up a story about having been assaulted by three Romani men that eventually sparked a big demonstration against Romani people there. He was eventually sentenced to 20 hours of community service work for having lied to the authorities.

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Dezinformace, Jihlava, Police, Racism



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