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January 23, 2020
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František Kostlán


Author's articles

More and more Czech celebrities supporting blockade of neo-Nazi march in Brno on 1 May

Brno, 19.4.2011 16:57, (ROMEA) The brutal interventions recently committed by the Czech Police and Czech Interior Ministry officials against the nonviolent, peaceful blockades of neo-Nazi marches in the towns of Nový Bydžov and Krupka have not scared off those opposed to neo-Nazism. On the contrary, more and more celebrities from public life are starting to join their efforts.  full story

Czech Republic: Two anti-Nazi events scheduled for 1 May in Brno

Brno, 19.4.2011 15:57, (ROMEA) Two events have been announced for 1 May 2011 in Brno in response to the neo-Nazi march scheduled to take place there. One is a nonviolent blockade of the march, and the other is a gathering organized by the "We Don't Want Neo-Nazis in Brno!" Initiative. This gathering has been properly announced and has not been banned by the authorities.  full story

Czech Republic: Regional police, Organized Crime Detective Unit disagree on legality of speeches in Nový Bydžov

Prague/Hradec Králové, 18.4.2011 17:03, (ROMEA) The Czech Republic's Organized Crime Detection Unit (Útvar pro odhalování organizovaného zločinu - ÚOOZ) believes that the speech given in March by Slovak neo-Nazi Marián Mišún to a rally in Nový Bydžov was illegal. According to Hradec Králové Regional Police spokesperson Ivana Ježková, however, Hradec Králové Regional Police do not share that analysis.  full story

Czech Police say hate speeches in Nový Bydžov legal, court convicts same words in Krupka

Prague/Hradec Králové, 18.4.2011 14:13, (ROMEA - updated) The Czech Police have completed several weeks' work of evaluating the speeches given at last month's neo-Nazi gathering in Nový Bydžov and have concluded that none of them broke the law. Ivana Ježková, police spokesperson for the Hradec Králové region, shared the results with news server Romea.cz today.  full story

Minority rights monitoring ends in Czech Republic, results from Council of Europe in June

Prague, 18.4.2011 12:41, (ROMEA) Council of Europe inspectors have completed their five-day "monitoring visit" to the Czech Republic in order to determine how the country is performing on its commitment to uphold the rights of national minorities. Several weeks ago, Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner Thomas Hammarberg sharply criticized the Czech Republic for its attitude toward Roma people and called for greater efforts to include them into society.  full story

Czech Police delayed arrest of Slovak speaker wearing a swastika in Krupka

Krupka, 11.4.2011 20:45, (ROMEA) Police have filed charges against a citizen of Slovakia who participated in a march by the Worker's Social Justice Party (Dělnická strana sociální spravedlnosti - DSSS) through the town of Krupka on Saturday 9 April. Police spokesperson Ilona Novotná said officers suspected the man of making racist statements during his speech. He was also wearing banned Nazi symbols, including a swastika, on his clothing.  full story

Czech Education Minister appoints alleged sympathizer of Haider and Le Pen as his adviser

Prague, 4.4.2011 19:19, (ROMEA) Czech Education Minister Josef Dobeš (Public Affairs - VV) has appointed Ladislav Bátora as his economic adviser. Bátora was the top candidate of the chauvinist and racist National Party during elections to the lower house in the Vysočina region. The media have been speculating that he would be engaged by the ministry for more than a month. After his candidacy on behalf of the extremist party was criticized, Bátora received the backing of Czech President Václav Klaus. Bátora is to help Dobeš optimize the ministry's economic operations.  full story

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

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