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August 10, 2020

 

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František Kostlán


Author's articles

Another protest to be held against sentence reduction for juvenile rapist in Czech Republic

Prague, 4.4.2011 16:05, (ROMEA) Prague will become another site of protest against the sentence reduction for an assailant from the town of Krupka next weekend. On Saturday, 9 April, an initiative which on Facebook is calling itself the "Protest against the Reduction in Punishment for the Assailant from Krupka, Teplice district" is planning a rally at 15:00 on Jan Palach Square (náměstí Jana Palacha) in Prague, followed by a march to the Office of the Government. The organizers of this event have sharply distanced themselves from another event being held in Krupka itself by the Workers' Social Justice Party (Dělnická strana sociální spravedlnosti - DSSS).  full story

Czech city of Brno readies for protests against ultra-right extremists

Brno, 25.3.2011 16:25, (ROMEA) The Initiative "We Don't Want Neo-Nazis in Brno" is sending a message to the organizers of the Workers' Youth march through Brno on 1 May that the holiday should be a time for love, not a time for hatred and neo-Nazis. The Initiative was founded one week ago along the lines of similar efforts in the Czech towns of Přerov, Ústí nad Labem and Plzeň. Dozens of organizations and people are supporting the Initiative through Facebook and the internet.  full story

Czech Helsinki Committee report for European Network against Racism

Prague/Brussels, 22.3.2011 15:37, (ROMEA) On the occasion of the prestigious International Day against Racism (21 March), the Czech Helsinki Committee (Český helsinský výbor - ČHV) has published a Shadow Report on the Czech Republic for European Network against Racism (ENAR). Two reports have been issued: The first, entitled "Racism and discrimination in the Czech Republic" ,concerns the Czech Republic and was authored by Selma Muhič Dizdarevič and František Valeš of ČHV. The second ENAR Shadow Report covers all of Europe.  full story

Commentary: Czech MP Řápková shines again, or, the am ha-aretz speaks of human rights

Prague, 11.3.2011 20:46, (ROMEA) Ivana Řápková, the former mayor of Chomutov who today is an MP for the Civic Democrats (ODS), is playing another hit song of hers, further proof that she knows nothing about democracy and human rights or the principles they involve. Together with other mayors (see their declaration) she wants to pass a law that would make it possible for towns and villages to ban the perpetrators of misdemeanors from residing in that town or village for one year. Not only that, but she is amazed that Roma people are speaking out against this law.  full story

Analysis of Czech news server Deník.cz: Stupid, or flat-out racist?

Prague, 10.3.2011 18:51, (ROMEA) The Deník newspaper (available online as Deník.cz), owned by the Vltava Labe press, has long embodied a low standard of journalism in general and no standard at all when it comes to reporting on the Roma minority. The vast majority of its articles referring to the Roma minority in some way are either very stupid, or stink to high heaven of racism and xenophobia. When we realize that the paper usually prints articles by various racists or interviews with them (for example, with the former chair of the neo-Nazi Workers' Party, Vandas), it becomes even clearer which way the wind is blowing.  full story

Commentary: Extremist would be proud of Czech President's defense of him

Prague, 2.3.2011 19:08, (ROMEA) In my commentary on the Czech President's New Year's speech, I wrote that Václav Klaus could not possibly sink any farther than he has already. I was wrong. Klaus is now showing not only the symptoms of a narcissist admiring his own overgrown "ego of genius", he is also showing that he will not hesitate, when advocating his personal opinions, to use open hatred in order to divide society. The President is not shrinking from verbally joining an ideological stream that is contributing fascist and racist elements to Czech society.  full story

Commentary: Czech society is becoming extremist - where will it end?

Prague, 27.2.2011 0:23, (ROMEA) The atmosphere of any society can become oppressive and stifling, often for an unbearably long time. The consistency of any atmosphere is almost always changed by politics and politicians, visible people whose behavior is perceived as establishing the norm. This is why changes in the atmosphere tend to precede the fundamental turning points in the life of a society. It is quite possible that such a change is about to occur in our society, because traditional values here are slowly transforming into a caricature of themselves, and the term "human rights" is perceived by many today more as a slur than as a basic concept which we only stumbled across at the cost of a great deal of painful history.  full story

Many Roma children in Czech ghettos only complete primary school

Prague, 29.12.2010 22:06, (ROMEA) The Czech Republic is continually criticized for segregating Roma children into "special schools" and "special classes" at mainstream elementary schools. Even if Roma children living in excluded localities complete a mainstream primary education, a different career awaits most of them than awaits most of their majority-society peers. According to a study by sociologist Ivan Gabal's GAC company, up to 16 % of Roma children completing ninth grade at a mainstream primary school located near a socially excluded locality will not continue their education.  full story

Anna Šabatová awarded Alice Masaryk prize by US embassy

Prague, 14.12.2010 20:30, (ROMEA) Former deputy ombudsman Anna Šabatová has been awarded the Alice Garrigue Masaryk prize by the US embassy to the Czech Republic this year for her contributions to human rights. Šabatová, who signed Charter 77 and is currently chair of the Czech Helsinki Committee, received the prize from US chargé d‘affaires Joseph Pennington, who said she had won the award for her life-long courage in the fight for justice, for her committed work on behalf of society at the office of the ombudsman, and for her ongoing efforts to improve conditions for people in the Czech Republic and in Europe.  full story

Commentary: The vicious circle of arson investigations and verdicts

Prague, 14.12.2010 18:14, (ROMEA) The courts in the Czech Republic are supposed to evaluate each case on its individual merits. If the court concludes a particular case is somehow different from others which might at first glance seem similar (or analogous, or even the same), it may decide that case should be given a different legal classification, and the punishment concerned may then also be of a different magnitude. Of course, the justice system as a state institution is supposed to be accountable to the public - in other words, no judge lives in a vacuum. The reasons for classifying an incident as constituting a particular crime and the subsequent punishment invoked must therefore be described convincingly and thoroughly if society is to take the justice system seriously. In the case of the Czech Republic, we can say the justice system must do this if it wants a reputation that earns society's respect.  full story

Czech PM Petr Nečas at Gypsy Spirit: Prejudice deforms the rules

Prague, 13.12.2010 19:39, (ROMEA) This year's awarding of the Gypsy Spirit prizes took place under the auspices of Czech PM Petr Nečas, who attended the event from start to finish instead of merely making a formal appearance as some politicians tend to do. He delivered his opening remarks without notes. News server Romea.cz publishes the full transcript of those remarks below.  full story

Czech Constitutional Court rejects extremist's charge that judge is biased

Brno, 9.12.2010 14:10, (ROMEA) The ČT 24 news channel reports that the Czech Constitutional Court has rejected a complaint filed by Patrik Vondrák, the former chair of the Prague cell of the (neo)Nazi Worker's Party (Dělnická strana), which was dissolved by the Supreme Administrative Court earlier this year. In the complaint, Vondrák alleged that Judge Věra Bártová of the Prague 1 District Court is biased. The extremist is currently on trial in Prague on suspicion of supporting and promoting a movement aimed at suppressing human rights and freedoms. Constitutional Court spokesperson Jana Pelcová has confirmed his complaint was rejected. Vondrák is still waiting for the Constitutional Court to decide on yet another complaint he filed regarding being taken into custody.  full story

Roma in Czech town protest mayor's generalizations about them

Nový Bydžov, 7.12.2010 14:11, (ROMEA) On Sunday, 5 December a Czech Television report on the situation in the town of Nový Bydžov opened with local resident Petr Suchánek, the initiator of a petition against the Roma, saying, "A handful of residents is terrorizing the majority and radical solutions are desired." The broadcast also quotes Mayor Pavel Louda (ODS) claiming police would be supplying him with statistics on crimes committed by Roma, even though statistics on suspects disaggregated by ethnicity are not kept by the police. The report was broadcast as part of the "168 Hours" program.  full story

Czech mayor fights crime by collectively blaming Roma

Nový Bydžov, 27.11.2010 18:46, (ROMEA) The town hall of Nový Bydžov, Czech Republic has announced a "war on Gypsies" after several muggings and a rape were reported there. According to a statement on the town's official website, a special security commission is in place and there are plans to strengthen the municipal police.  full story

Czech town says video of Roma police assistants can't be released

Litvínov, 16.11.2010 15:59, (ROMEA) Last week the Litvínov town hall did not respond to news server romea.cz's efforts to contact the leadership for comment regarding the ongoing Roma police assistant case, so the editors sent their questions to Mayor of Litvínov Daniel Volák (ODS) in writing. In the interim, the ODS party lost the municipal elections there. Newly-elected mayor Milan Šťovíček then instructed former Vice-Mayor Martin Klika, who is now the Municipal Police Chief, to respond to us. The response was sent to us by Eva Maříková, the press spokesperson for the town of Litvínov. Our original letter and the town's response are printed in full below:  full story

Laurenčíková: Delays to Czech education reform are uneconomical and unethical

Prague, 9.11.2010 22:26, (ROMEA) Klára Laurenčíková has been advocating for fundamental changes at the Czech Education Ministry to promote the inclusion of disabled and socially disadvantaged pupils into mainstream education. After first working as Deputy Minister, she was removed from that position in March of this year when then-Education Minister Miroslava Kopicová decided to shut down the group dedicated to social programs in then elementary schools. Laurenčíková continued her work as director of the Special Education Section before going on maternity leave in June. After returning to work, she accepted Czech Education Minister Josef Dobeš's offer to work as an external adviser. The concept she has been advocating has been de facto suspended by Dobeš.  full story

Commentary: Czech domestic intelligence services anything but smart

Prague, 5.11.2010 13:54, (ROMEA) Members of the Security Information Service (Bezpečnostní informační služba – or BIS for short) in the Czech Republic are sometimes colloquially referred to as “bison”. Once again the bison are performing about as well as a damp firecracker, issuing a report (and not for the first time) that is written so amateurishly as to be an embarrassment.  full story

Czech Supreme Court reinstates sentencing of Roma ex-police officer

Brno, 3.11.2010 12:05, (ROMEA) Roma ex-police officer Martin Barkóci must return to prison to serve out a sentence of two years and nine months for allegedly covering up a crime. The Czech Supreme Court in Brno has rejected his appeal and has also rejected a complaint filed on his behalf by former Czech Justice Minister Daniela Kovářová regarding illegalities in his sentencing by the High Court in Prague. Kovářová exercised her right to suspend Barkóci's sentence in January of this year, the daily Právo reports.  full story

Commentary: Czech Facebook and the Vítkov arson sentences

Prague, 23.10.2010 10:17, (ROMEA) The responses to the Vítkov verdict and the length of the sentences have been no surprise. Those who agree with them find them justified, and those who disagree question them. In addition to legitimate opinions questioning the length of the sentencing in relation to the crime in question, there are also opinions (primarily on the internet) that repeat outright inventions, lies and stereotypes about the victims ad infinitum.  full story

Two decades of neo-Nazi and racist violence in Central Europe

Prague, 21.10.2010 8:27, (ROMEA) The following is a summary of the basic information available regarding neo-Nazi and racist attacks on Roma committed in the Czech Republic and Central Europe. We start with a chronology of last year's arson attack in Vítkov before moving on to a selection of verdicts handed down in other attacks by right-wing extremists against Roma, including arson attacks on Roma homes committed by neo-Nazis and promoters of the extreme right in Germany, Hungary and Slovakia.  full story

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