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September 22, 2021



Stanislava Ondová: I'm beginning to no longer feel safe in our Czech Republic

21.10.2016 14:01
Stanislava Ondová
Stanislava Ondová

We probably all know by now that a young father of two children has died in Žatec under very strange circumstances. According to the Czech Police, nobody is to blame for his death even though video footage recorded by a customer at the restaurant where the incident took place appears to show something else.

I don't want to comment on that, because to do so I would have to use the kind of vocabulary that is not appropriate for publication at this hour of the day. What I am more puzzled by are the reactions of some people to the young man's death.

You are all writing online that this person was a drug addict, that he was no saint, etc. Fine, I did not personally know him - some of you may have - but in principle, just because somebody is addicted to drugs or is "no saint" does not mean that it is all right for him to die under this kind of circumstance.

God did not give any of us the right to determine who deserves to live or not. No other human being has that right.

Am I mistaken? Let's start from the beginning and be straight with each other:  If the 27-year-old man who died in that restaurant had been white, it would never occur to anybody to write "but he was a drug addict" in order to excuse what happened.

Why does it occur to you in this case? Because the deceased was Romani?

The value of human life in our republic - and yes, I am writing "our" because I am a Czech Romani woman, not a Ukrainian Roma or a Swedish Roma, but a Czech Roma who pays taxes in this country, lives here, and has the right to vote here - that value has begun to separate into the value of a non-Romani life versus the value of a Romani life, and I just can't take it anymore. When Romani people are being discussed, what is asked about them is whether they are addicted to drugs or not, whether they are employed or not, whether they ever received social benefits or not, etc.

Nobody cares about such information when non-Romani people are being discussed. In my opinion, though, the value of a human life is the same for all of us.

What is not mine, what does not belong to me, is something I cannot make decisions about, and the life of this young man in that restaurant did not belong to either the "kickboxers" or the police officers who were there. One human being cannot own the life of another.

It is absolutely unimportant whether this man was addicted to drugs or not, whether he was employed or not. Somebody has apparently either deprived him of his life or has aided in the loss of his life.

Whoever contributed to this loss of life should bear responsibility, and whether the culprit is somebody's friend, or a member of a security unit, is irrelevant. I am beginning to no longer feel safe in our country. 

Stanislava Ondová, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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