Martina Horváthová (PHOTO: Personal archive of Martina Horváthová)
Martina Horváthová was once on her way to becoming one of the first Romani doctors in the Czech Republic. "Our parents always told us we had to be at least three times better than the gadje for us to even be noticed and recognized by them," she recalls.
Adriana Rácová comes from a Romani family in Ostrava, Czech Republic, one of five children who spent her childhood on a farm in a rural environment. Just like her siblings, she attended primary school in Ostrava where, according to her, her class teacher did her best to convince Adriana's parents to reassign her to a "special school" because it would be "better" for her.
The Human Rights Section, which during the previous administration was part of the agenda of the Minister for Human Rights, Equal Opportunities and Legislation, is now being administered by the Justice Ministry in the Czech Republic, and Justice Minister Robert Pelikán has become the chair of the Council for Romani Minority Affairs. Pelikán's spokesperson told news server Romea.cz that the minister is not planning any personnel changes currently, that he appreciates the Hate Free Culture project as a successful one, and that once January comes he is planning to visit excluded localities together with the Agency for Social Inclusion.
Czech Minister for Human Rights, Equal Opportunities and Legislation Jan Chvojka said today that the Government's human rights department in its current form is basically unnecessary. He said he believes a better model is the German one, where a specialized institute is the only body functioning in this area.
Mária Pompová was living with her boyfriend and young daughter in a substandard apartment in the Czech Republic where the rent was high even though the heating didn't work and there was only cold running water. They decided to move but could not manage to find a landlord to take them.
This past Saturday 10 June, the South West Dorset Multicultural Network and Kushti Bok hosted a celebration of Romani people and Travellers in the UK. The event was created in honor of Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month and took place in Dorchester’s Borough Gardens.
Five people charged with spray-painting cafés and shops in Prague last year that were participating in the "HateFree" campaign have been convicted and given suspended
sentences of between two and nine months in prison, as well as ordered to pay compensation for some of the damage caused within the realm of their possibilities. Two
defendants must surrender the mobile telephones they used to film the spray-painting as it was happening.
On 19 April, Czech Television reported on its website that the Czech state prosecutor has agreed with a police proposal to indict four people on charges of spray-painting cafés and shops involved with the Czech Government's "HateFree" project. The four face accusations not just of property damage, but also of displaying sympathy for movements aimed at suppressing human rights and freedoms.
The Czech Government's HateFree Culture campaign will continue next year in a different form. Deputy Human Rights Minister Martina Štěpánková informed members of the
lower house of the decision on 7 March.
Police in Prague, Czech Republic have proposed charging four people with spray-painting neo-Nazi symbols on businesses and cafes involved in the Czech Government's
HateFree Zone project. Prosecution of a fifth defendant has been temporarily suspended.
Czech Minister for Human Rights and Legislation Jan Chvojka (Czech Social Democratic Party - ČSSD) met on 18 February with Czech President Miloš Zeman and his advisers to discuss the position of the Government's Legislative Council, which Chvojka has chaired since December. The two men also held a lengthy debate about the law on social enterprises.
News server Romea.cz has been informed that the Ethics Commission of the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic has decided that Nikola Křístek has not
committed any behavior that violates the Code of Ethics for employees of the Office of the Government. Křístek was once the head of the Government's Campaign against
Racism and Hate Violence, a component of which is the Hate Free Culture project.
Czech Human Rights Minister Jan Chvojka (Czech Social Democratic Party - ČSSD) met on 7 February with the leadership of the Czech Government's campaign against hate violence, Hate Free Culture. The three-year project, scheduled to end in April, combats hate speech and xenophobia as well as refuting fake news and hoaxes, mainly in the online environment.
Romani people are discussed in the Czech language online predominantly in terms of stereotypes, and the voice of the Roma themselves in the virtual space is still proportionately weak. Media attention towards Romani people as a minority was overshadowed during 2015 and 2016 by a shift of focus to Muslims and refugees, but the
emotions expressed about the Roma are, at the same time, more negative than they were before.
Police officers have accused five youths of spray-painting cafés and shops involved in the Czech Government's Hate Free campaign with Nazi symbols and threatening messages this spring. Those accused face up to three years in prison for property damage and showing sympathy for a movement aimed at suppressing human rights and freedoms.
Prague City Hall has decided to join the "HateFree Culture" campaign calling for tolerance of minorities and refugees despite a decision by the Prague City Assembly not to do so. The decision to join the campaign was taken on 3 May by the Prague City Council.
Prague City council member Matěj Stropnický (Green Party/Trojkoalice) proposed earlier this week that City Hall become a "HateFree Zone", but his motion did not receive enough votes to pass. In a resolution that did pass, however, the City Council rejected violence no matter what political ideology inspires it.
At a cabinet session Thursday the Czech Government condemned those responsible for the vituperative graffiti that appeared at several locations in Prague last weekend. The perpetrators drew predominantly Nazi symbols on various buildings.
The leadership of the Evangelical Church of the Czech Brethren has expressed support for its Diakonie organization in Prague after an attack by right-wing radicals who spray-painted its headquarters with threatening messages last weekend. In a statement released yesterday, members of the church leadership said aggression and calling for the death of others contravenes the spirit of the gospel.
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The Czech Government's Hate Free Culture campaign has issued the following press release: