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February 21, 2018
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Czech Republic

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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 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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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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Czech MP marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day by doubting what happened at Romani genocide site

30.1.2018 7:08 The Czech Museum of Romani Culture is asking that Czech MP Tomio Okamura, a vice-chair of the lower house, publicly apologize for his remark about the WWII-era concentration camp for Romani people at Lety u Písku. In an interview for the online DVTV television channel on Saturday, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Okamura referenced a book that he alleged has described the camp as having not been fenced and people being free to come and go from it.  full story

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Analysis: Publicly active Romani figures voted for Drahoš, the socially excluded voted for Zeman

28.1.2018 19:33 At the Romani-inhabited housing estate of Chanov, during the final round of voting for the President of the Czech Republic, 11.37 % of voters turned out, 80 % of whom voted for Jiří Drahoš. A closer look at the outcomes of the vote in other socially excluded localities, however, shows low voter turnout, with those who did turn out favoring the incumbent, who ultimately won the election.
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Czech Parliament marks International Holocaust Memorial Day with Romani speaker

28.1.2018 7:26 Czech MP Radek Vondráček (ANO), speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, addressed a gathering in the Czech Senate Friday on the eve of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, 27 January, saying that the current civilized state of society should not be taken for granted. Underestimated sparks of the hateful ideologies that have led in the past to people being annihilated because of their different ethnicities or faiths could yet become an uncontrollable blaze, Vondráček said.  full story

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Czech President Zeman re-elected

27.1.2018 20:03 Miloš Zeman has been re-elected President of the Czech Republic. He won 51.36 % of the vote, 1 % less than five years ago.  full story

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videoCzech Association of Roma Entrepreneurs and Associations endorses Drahoš, calls on Roma to turn out

26.1.2018 6:51 The President of the Association of Roma Entrepreneurs and Associations of the Czech Republic, Vladimír Leško, has published a video on YouTube aimed at Romani people asking them to take an active part in the election of the President of the Czech Republic in the second round of voting, which begins today and continues tomorrow until 2 pm. Leško, together with other members of the association, clearly declares on YouTube that he will vote for Jiří Drahoš.  full story

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Czech Museum of Romani Culture to sign cooperation agreement with European Grassroots Antiracist Movement tomorrow

25.1.2018 9:24 On Friday, 26 January at 18:00 there will be a celebration at the French Institute in Prague to mark the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the European Grassroots Antiracist Movement (EGAM) and the Museum of Romani Culture in Brno, Czech Republic. The institutions pledge to collaborate on defining the future concept of the memorial at the site of the former concentration camp for Romani people at Lety.  full story

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Czech Museum of Romani Culture officially takes charge of memorial at Romani genocide site in Hodonín u Kunštátu

25.1.2018 7:40 Today the Museum of Romani Culture is scheduled to officially take over the grounds of the memorial at the Romani genocide site in Hodonín u Kunštátu from the Office for Government Representation in Property Affairs (ÚZSVM). The Museum will become the administrator of the entire site and will be in charge of running the memorial for the public, including building its exhibitions.  full story

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Czech antigypsyist ultra-right party expresses support for incumbent in presidential race

25.1.2018 6:27 Members and sympathizers of the extremist Workers Social Justice Party (Dělnická strana sociální spravedlnosti - DSSS) should support the incumbent, Miloš Zeman, in the second round of the presidential race this Friday and Saturday, according to a recommendation that was approved on 20 January by delegates to an extraordinary convention of the party. Former chair Tomáš Vandas was re-elected Chair of the unsuccessful party once again.  full story

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