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February 25, 2018
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Former Czech Human Rights Minister says the entire country should campaign against denial of Romani genocide

11.2.2018 7:17 On Wednesday, 7 February, former Czech Human Rights Minister Michael Kocáb commented at a press conference announcing the results of the fundraising drive called "THEY WANT TO GAS THEM, WE WANT TO SEND THEM TO SCHOOL!" about the recent remarks made the chair of the SPD party, who is also the vice-chair of the Chamber of Deputies. He highlighted the responses of politicians who have objected to Czech MP Okamura's remarks, which in his view have crossed a certain line.  full story

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Patrik Banga: How can people in the Czech Republic write about reviving the concentration camps?

10.2.2018 7:25 I have just read online, for the third time in the last several hours, the opinion that the concentration camps should be revived, and not surprisingly, one such opinion was posted by a commenter to the Facebook profile of Tomio Okamura. For several dozens of hours I have been thinking about whether I basically can even say anything about what is going on because I am in a stage where I am afraid to say anything - and that is because the moment I say something, I begin to receive hate mail and racist messages that disgust me so much that I have even stopped blogging on the blog site that I myself am in charge of.  full story

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Czech capital to see European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture presentation on support for Romani culture

9.2.2018 11:07 On Tuesday, 13 February a presentation will be made by the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture (ERIAC), "SAR DIČOHA ROMAŇI KULTURA DUREDER? – BUDOUCNOST
ROMSKÉ KULTURY" (THE FUTURE OF ROMANI CULTURE) as part of an international conference to be followed by a cultural program that evening. The conference, entitled "Support for the Development of Roma Culture: Contemporary Challenges and Future Opportunities", will begin at 10 AM in the Gallery of the Czech Centres on Rytířská Street in Prague.  full story

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Czech football fans who assaulted African man on Prague tram have not been banned from matches

9.2.2018 6:39 Fans of the football club Sigma Olomouc who assaulted a man from West Africa last November on a Prague tram have not yet been banned from attending the club's matches despite the fact that club spokesperson Petr Pelíšek, responding to the incident in the fall, said the club was prepared to cooperate with police on measures to ban them. News server Olomoucký deník reported last week that Sigma Olomouc does not yet know the identity of the perpetrators of the incident.  full story

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videoČeněk Růžička reports crime to Czech State Prosecutor, accuses lower house vice-chair of doubting the Romani genocide

8.2.2018 18:37 The chair of the Committee for the Redress of the Roma Holocaust (VPORH), Čeněk Růžička, visited the state prosecutor today on behalf of the victims and survivors of the concentration camp at Lety u Písku and their relatives to accuse the vice-chair of the Chamber of Deputies, Tomio Okamura, and Czech MP Miloslav Rozner (both SPD), of breaking the law on Holocaust denial. Růžička is not hopeful that the police will be able to press charges, but said he had no choice but to bring the accusation.  full story

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Czech survey finds youth are more prejudiced against minorities than their elders

8.2.2018 7:46 A survey performed by experts from the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes (ÚSTR) in collaboration with the Institute of Sociology has ascertained that while the subjects of the Holocaust, minorities and tolerance are being taught in the Czech schools, the instruction is having no influence on some widespread prejudices. ÚSTR has long focused on instruction about these sensitive historical subjects in the schools and more than 600 teachers take its courses annually.  full story

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Outgoing Czech PM backs MP who doubted Romani Holocaust, says he has apologized and his words have been "misinterpreted"

7.2.2018 16:32 Outgoing Czech PM Andrej Babiš (ANO) says that he believes the chair of the SPD movement, Tomio Okamura, has already apologized for his remarks about the Protectorate-era
concentration camp at Lety u Písku, a site of the genocide of the Roma during the Second World War. When asked today whether he supports removing Okamura from his post as vice-chair of the lower house, as the Christian Democrats propose, the PM said he considers Okamura's apology to have been sufficient.  full story

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Live online press conference 11 AM TODAY: Czech school targeted by racists hosts fundraisers from "THEY WANT TO GAS THEM, WE WANT TO SEND THEM TO SCHOOL!"

7.2.2018 9:23 A press conference announcing the results of the fundraising campaign by ROMEA called "THEY WANT TO GAS THEM, WE WANT TO SEND THEM TO SCHOOL!", which immediately responded to the wave of online hatred and racism last year against first-graders at a primary school in Teplice, Czech Republic will be broadcast live online today at 11 AM. The press conference will feature a discussion and the delivery of the money raised and will take place at the school itself on Plynárenská Street. The press conference will feature a discussion of the issues involved, the delivery of the money raised, and will take place at the school itself on Plynárenská Street.  full story

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Czech Republic: Unique "Memory of the Roma" project keeps historical memory alive through video

7.2.2018 7:33 Over a cup of coffee in her apartment in Rokycany, Czech Republic, 67-year-old Květa Tůmová Tomášová recalls the stories of her family, whose roots are in the Šariš region of eastern Slovakia. She talks about labor camps, partisans, the Second World War, the postwar migration to the Czech Republic, her childhood in Rokycany, and the classroom where she and her brother Mírák were the only Romani children.  full story

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Czech Gov't Roma Council demands apology, Czech Justice Minister disturbed by MP's remarks about Romani genocide site

6.2.2018 16:27 Civil society members of the Czech Government Council on Romani Minority Affairs have expressed outrage over the remarks made by Czech MP Tomio Okamura (SPD) and his
fellow party member Miloslav Rozner and, just like the Museum of Romani Culture, they are demanding an apology from Okamura. Outgoing Czech Justice Minister Robert Pelikán (ANO) has also expressed his unease over the remarks made by Okamura, who is the vice-chair of the lower house.  full story

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Czech Christian Democrats want to remove Holocaust doubter from vice-chair post in the lower house

6.2.2018 14:22 The Czech Christian Democrats (KDU-ČSL) are calling for negotiations on removing the chair of the SPD party, Tomio Okamura, from his post as vice-chair of the Chamber of Deputies. Jan Bartošek, KDU-ČSL vice-chair, announced the move to the press today.  full story

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European Grassroots Antiracist Movement calls Czech MP's remarks about Romani genocide site classic Holocaust denial

6.2.2018 8:51 The European Grassroots Antiracist Movement (EGAM) has condemned the recent remarks by the chair of the SPD party in the Czech Republic, Tomio Okamura, about the Protectorate-era concentration camp for Romani people at Lety u Písku. Okamura said that he believed the camp had not been fenced and that the people there had been able to come and go freely.  full story

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Czech party wants to abolish compulsory preschool, former EdMin calls it a cheap gesture

5.2.2018 6:59 The Civic Democratic Party (ODS) has proposed abolishing compulsory preschool for five-year-olds and would also like to get rid of their legal obligation to accept children as young as two, which according to the current law will be introduced two years from now. The Government will first assess the bill.  full story

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Czech MP apologizes for "imprecision", then urges people to read historian who calls the Romani Holocaust a "myth"

4.2.2018 8:48 The chair of the "Freedom and Direct Democracy" party (SPD), Czech MP Tomio Okamura, who is a vice-chair of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, responded through Facebook on 2 February to the Museum of Romani Culture's request that he apologize for his deceptive remarks about the concentration camp for Romani people at Lety u Písku. In his statement, Okamura apologizes for his imprecise remarks about the fencing of the camp at Lety u Písku before proceeding to quote Jan Rataj, a history professor who alleges that the Protectorate's "Gypsy Camps" were not concentration camps and who said in an interview for the tabloid Parlamentní listy that to call them such is to perpetuate a "myth" that is being politically exploited.  full story

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Czech citizens file crime report over MP's remarks denying the suffering of Romani genocide victims

3.2.2018 10:52 Czech MP Tomio Okamura is being reported to the authorities on suspicion of criminal activity because of remarks he made denying the suffering of the Romani victims of the Holocaust at the Lety u Písku concentration camp. An open letter sent to news server Romea.cz by its signatories has announced that fact.  full story

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Czech round table on Romani genocide memorial: Relatives of victims must have the last word

2.2.2018 19:36 Almost 30 people from various fields gathered on 26 January 2018 at the invitation of the Terezín Initiative Institute and the Museum of Romani Culture for a round table at the Institute's headquarters in the building of the former Jewish school on Jáchymova Street in Prague to discuss the possible creation of a Lety Platform that would, as a working group, discuss the form of the future remembrance site at Lety u Písku. In addition to representatives of both institutions (historians and professional staff) representatives of the Office of the Government, the Czech Government Council for Romani Minority Affairs, the Czech Culture Ministry, activists and naturally the relatives of the victims of the camp at Lety and the camp at Hodonín u Kunštátu sat at the same table to discuss the future of the memorials.  full story

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Czech Constitutional Court receives complaint over buyout of pig farm on Romani genocide site

2.2.2018 7:03 The Czech Constitutional Court received a complaint in mid-January about the approval of the handover of the pig farm in Lety (Písek district) to the state. The daily Lidové noviny (LN) reported yesterday that the filing concerns the decree through which the previous coalition government of Bohuslav Sobotka (Czech Social Democratic Party - ČSSD) approved of the purchase last August.  full story

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Czech Republic: Romafuturismo Library holds its grand opening TODAY

1.2.2018 7:18 Today, 1 February, the grand opening of the Romafuturismo Library will take place at the tranzit office gallery and lecture space (Dittrichova 13, Prague 2). A marathon reading will begin at 7 AM and end at 7 PM of the book Narodila jsem se pod šťastnou hvězdou (A False Dawn) by the eminent Romani author Elena (Ilona) Lacková.  full story

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Czech Police investigating three suspects over death threats against first-graders

31.1.2018 8:23 Czech Television reports that the Czech Police have begun to investigate three suspects whom they believe were involved with the case of the death threats and hateful commentaries made online in response to a photograph of the children in a first-grade class at the Plynárenská Primary School in Teplice. Charges have yet to be filed in relation to the incident.  full story

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Slovak President Kiska discusses Romani settlements and Interior Ministry's plans for repression

31.1.2018 6:53 Slovak President Andrej Kiska organized a public panel discussion on the subject of including Romani people into society on Thursday, 26 January at the Evangelical College in Prešov that aimed to point out that verified solutions exist to some of the most essential problems in this area. The discussion also aimed to describe the genesis of the current state of affairs in connection with the planned repressive measures to be undertaken by police.  full story

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