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January 17, 2022



Tomáš Ščuka on the death of a Romani man in Žatec: We do not support antigypsyism and we insist on objectivity!

22.10.2016 10:59
Tomáš Ščuka
Tomáš Ščuka

In recent days, most of us been paying increasing attention to the sad incident in Žatec in which a 27-year-old man died after a scuffle in a local restaurant. To be honest, any such incident involving the unfortunate loss of human life makes me emotional and sad, especially when somebody young loses their life.

It is not at all essential what somebody's ethnic origin is! It is not even essential what kind of life that person lived before dying!

However, if somebody loses his life just because of his ethnic origin, then it makes me even more emotional, sad, and shocked! A couple of days ago that young man walked into a restaurant, and for the sake of argument, we can assume he behaved inappropriately and made remarks to other people or bothered them.

We all, from time to time, have experienced an unpleasant situation in some establishment that certainly has not ended as drastically for the person involved as the incident in Žatec did, though! I have been hoping, in vain, that an objective assessment would be performed at the crime scene by the police.

Today, however, we are hearing many different kinds of information about this case that do not logically add up! The official autopsy, for example, has mainly relieved anybody else of responsibility for his death.

The father of the deceased was denied his right to see his son's body before that autopsy. Giving parents an opportunity to identify their child in a case of death is nothing more than the correct approach that should be taken by the criminal justice authorities.

It is also being rumored that some of the assailants in this case are professional kickboxers with ties to the local police. Last but not least, an eyewitness was present who alleges that those guys shouted racist curses at the victim and beat him in full view of the police.

Since the investigation is just beginning, I am still doing my best to believe the police will come forward with a believable version of events based on evidence. The criminal justice authorities should be working for all of us.

Their work, which is supposed to be impartial, is paid for by all taxpayers, including Romani ones! We, too, contribute to Czech society, we are part of it, and we want to feel safe in the country of which we are citizens.

I become scared when I picture the increasing antigypsyism in Czech society becoming part of the common practice of its institutions and the state bodies that are supposed to impartially, professionally serve the citizens and the people. That is why we must all insist, together, on an objective investigation of this entire case and demand justice!

It is worth it to fight for equality, for human rights, and to publicly raise our voices! Only solidarity can change this injustice.

More indifference to such cases will only increase the likelihood that they become commonplace and will be tolerated by society in the future. For me personally, that idea is alarming! 

Tomáš Ščuka, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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