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November 18, 2017
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demokracie

Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jaglan. (Photo: Council of Europe)
Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jaglan. (Photo: Council of Europe)

Secretary General of the Council of Europe warns its 47 member states against limiting democracy

24.4.2017 8:54 European states must now make greater efforts so their democratic systems can successfully face down the threat of populism. That is the opinion of Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, as expressed in his annual report on the state of democracy, human rights and the rule of law, released on 20 April.
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NGO representatives from 20 countries attend ODIHR/OSCE round table on monitoring demonstrations and keeping them nonviolent

6.1.2017 8:06 Last month the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) held a three-day round table on the topic of monitoring public assemblies and demonstrations during which representatives of nonprofits from 20 countries, including a representative of the ROMEA organization in the Czech Republic, presented their experiences with monitoring demonstrations and working with local authorities and police during public assemblies. Roughly 35 representatives from 20 countries worldwide attended.  full story

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Czech Gov't Council on Romani Affairs calls on public figures to speak out against hate and xenophobia

2.12.2016 7:29 The civil society members of the Czech Government Council on Romani Affairs have called on public figures to take a clear stand against the xenophobic music group Ortel, which is spreading hatred and has received an award as part of a popular music survey. "The prizewinning band has a clear connection to the extreme right and espouses ideas that are incompatible with the basic legal documents of the Czech Republic by supporting hatred against various groups of people. It is not possible to express support of any kind for such performers," reads their declaration, which news server Romea.cz publishes here in full translation:  full story

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video30 000 assemble on Prague's Wenceslas Square to celebrate 17 November - VIDEO

18.11.2016 19:58 As many as 30 000 people set off alarm clocks yesterday on Prague's Wenceslas Square during the celebrations of the anniversary of the beginning of the fall of state socialism in the former Czechoslovakia. The alarm clocks were supposed to symbolically wake civil society from its sleep, according to organizers of the "happening".  full story

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Thousands commemorate 17 November anniversary on significant street in the Czech capital

18.11.2016 15:38 Thousands of people commemorated the anniversary of 17 November on Národní třída (National Avenue) in Prague yesterday. University students organized an event called the "National Parade" (Korzo Národní) where people could amuse themselves and also learn about the events of November 1989.  full story

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Albertov university area of the Czech capital is packed as members of academia indirectly criticize politicians on 17 November

18.11.2016 14:24 Yesterday numerous speakers at an event in the Albertov university area of Prague thanked students for their involvement in the political events of 17 November 1989 and criticized today's politicians, with Czech President Miloš Zeman and Czech Finance Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) reaping a great deal of indirect criticism. Petr Pithart, a former educator and former Prime Minister, said people must not allow themselves to be divided by categorizations or alleged affiliations with artificially-created groups, and that they should not vote for corporations instead of political parties during the elections.  full story

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Czech Republic: Dozens of events on 17 November in Prague - including ultra-right ones

18.11.2016 9:38 Yesterday, people in the Czech Republic commemorated the historical events connected with 17 November, when German Nazis murdered students in 1939 and 50 years later the communists in power used police brutality against students. In Prague there were dozens of events underway - assemblies, carnival marches, cultural "happenings", demonstrations and marches.  full story

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In echo of totalitarian past, 60 Czech MPs want anybody "defaming" the President to serve a year in prison

16.11.2016 20:21 A group of 60 Czech MPs wants to make it a crime once more to publicly defame the President, punishable by up to a year in prison, a proposal that has drawn a reaction of rejection from other politicians, including Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Czech Social Democratic Party - ČSSD). Representatives of the right-wing opposition called the bill reminiscent of the normalization era of the 1970s and a "return to the Communist protection of whoever happens to be a big cheese".  full story

Purges at the Czech Freedom Fighters' Union - critics of xenophobic chair excluded, two branches closed

20.10.2016 17:34 The Central Committee of the Czech Freedom Fighters' Union (Český svaz bojovníků za svobodu - ČSBS) closed its Jičín and Kladno district member organizations during a meeting on 18 October. Three individual members have also been excluded from the union.  full story

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International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and ODIHR issue joint statement on need to ensure dignity for Roma Holocaust remembrance

2.8.2016 14:13 Michael Georg Link, Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and Ambassador Mihnea Constantinescu, Chair of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), called today for greater efforts to protect endangered memorial sites related to the Roma and Sinti genocide during World War II. Speaking on the occasion of the commemoration of the liquidation of the “Gypsy family camp” at Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1944, when almost 3 000 Roma and Sinti in the camp were murdered, they stressed that states have to do more to demonstrate their sincere and strong commitment to education about and remembrance of the genocide.  full story

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Opponents of Czech President reserve historically significant location to honor the democratic transition this November

18.5.2016 11:47 There is great interest in holding public events in Prague this year on the 17 November state holiday. On the very first day that it was possible to announce such events, Prague City Hall has recorded an enormous number of them, according to spokesperson Vít Hofman.  full story

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John Kerry on International Romani Day: Today we celebrate the rich cultural heritage of Roma and their contributions to society

8.4.2016 14:28 The Secretary of State of the United States of America, John Kerry, has issued a statement on International Romani Day thanking the Romani nation for their rich cultural heritage and wishing Romani people worldwide a future free of discrimination. News server Romea.cz publishes the press release in full here:  full story

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Czech activists file report of suspected crime after officials fail to produce permit used as pretext for denying them access to facility

11.3.2016 23:29 Activists running the Autonomous Social Center Klinika in the Žižkov quarter of Prague 3 say they have filed a report of a suspected crime with the police over the fact that the Prague 3 Building Works Authority claimed to them and to the owner of the facility where their center has been operating that because the building had been issued a permit for a different use, the continued operation of the center there was illegal. Now it turns out there is no record of such a use permit.  full story

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František Kostlán: Neo-Nazis and the "optimists" are not equivalents, all democrats should oppose extremism

9.2.2016 3:25 We have made a mistake. We have let a discussion arise in Czech society asserting that the followers of former Czech President Havel, the "optimists" or the "truth-lovers", are just one side of the same coin as the fascists, neo-Nazis and populists of this society.  full story

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Zeljko Jovanovic, director, Roma Initiatives Office

Interview with Zeljko Jovanovic, Director of the Roma Initiatives Office at the Open Society Foundations

18.5.2015 13:53 Zeljko Jovanovic is director of the Roma Initiatives Office (RIO), which aims to strengthen the voices and leadership of Roma with respect to improving public policies and services in Europe. Since the fall of the socialist regimes in Europe, Zeljko says he has witnessed "new claims for justice" being made in the context of those emerging democracies. He has published several articles in a variety of media such as The Guardian, La Repubblica, Foreign Policy Blogs, Romea.cz and on the RIO blog and is the co-author of the book From Victimhood to Citizenship: The path of Roma integration (2013, CEU Press).  full story

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Democratic education - where every child can find his or her own way

14.5.2015 9:49 When he was going to nursery school, little Yaacov Hecht was frequently naughty. His teacher punished him more than once by locking him into an adjacent room, which was dark.  full story

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Fedor Gál: Czech President should not go to Moscow

21.3.2015 20:06, (ROMEA) In an interview for the Czech News Agency, Slovak sociologist and former dissident Fedor Gál, who celebrated his 70th birthday yesterday, said that nostalgic recollections of the communist era 25 years after the fall of the regime are incomprehensible to him. The founding member of the "Public against Violence" movement said he also does not understand why people hate the politicians them themselves elect.  full story

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Commentary: Czech Police biased against anti-racist demonstrators

Prague, 2.2.2015 20:43, (ROMEA) Are you an Islamophobe? If you are, then apparently you can take scissors to the t-shirt you got during the last World Cup in football or hockey, cut out the state symbol of the Czech Republic, take needle and thread and sew it onto the state flag of the Czech Republic.  full story

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Slovakia: Romani parties nominate hundreds of candidates for local elections

Bratislava, Slovakia, 13.10.2014 22:17, (ROMEA) News server Romovia.sme.sk reported last month that hundreds of candidates running for Romani political parties will be seeking voter approval in the upcoming local elections in Slovakia on 15 November. Chairs of the Romani Union Party in Slovakia (Strana romské unie na Slovensku - SRÚS), the Romani Coalition Party (Strana romské koalice - SRK) and the Roma Initiative of Slovakia (Romská iniciativa Slovenska - RIS) confirmed to the TASR press agency that their candidates will also be running for the post of mayor.  full story

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