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US State Department: Discrimination, violence against Roma in Czech Republic

Washington, D.C., 27.2.2014 23:35, (ROMEA)
US Secretary of State John Kerry (PHOTO: http://www.state.gov)
US Secretary of State John Kerry (PHOTO: http://www.state.gov)

Societal discrimination and violence against Romani people was a serious problem in the Czech Republic last year, according to the US State Department's annual report evaluating adherence to human rights worldwide. The State Department said the most problematic of the 200 states it evaluated are North Korea, South Sudan, Syria, and other countries in Africa and Southeast Asia.

The report says a discriminatory approach toward members of the Romani minority is the Czech Republic’s biggest human rights problem, in addition to the issues of child abuse, discrimination against migrant workers, human trafficking, and violence against women. While last year the Czech Government did take measures to investigate and punish cases of members of the security forces and other government offices who were abusing their powers, the report says that in some areas these offences remain unpunished.

In his preface to the report, Secretary of State John Kerry named Syria as one of the countries where human rights are worst-off, stating that “the government has committed egregious human rights violations in an ongoing conflict”. He also named the situation in South Sudan as very serious, where both anti-government rebels and the government itself have committed crimes against human rights that Kerry said “jeopardize regional security as well as the democratic future of the world’s youngest country”.

Kerry has also sharply criticized the North Korean regime for committing executions, crimes against humanity, and torture. The US has also criticized China's government for continuing to restrain fundamental human rights through repression against Tibetans and Uighurs.

The report said a slight improvement in the human rights record of the world’s most populated country has been the partial loosening of its one-child policy. As for the state of human rights in Russia and Ukraine, US diplomats have been paying a great deal of attention recently to the tense situation there.

The report says the Russian regime continued last year to suppress civil society and the political opposition. Russia also continues to persecute minorities, be they ethnic, religious, or sexual. 

Last year in Ukraine, the government of the now-toppled President Viktor Yanukovych increased its pressure tactics against civil society, against demonstrators trying to persuade the government to work with Europe, and against journalists. “As we all just saw, Ukrainians demonstrated once again the power of people to determine how they are governed,” Kerry wrote in his preface to the report.

ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Lidská práva, USA, zpráva, Czech Republic



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