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November 18, 2018
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Michal Komárek


Author's articles

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Czech Police stop Romani barbecue to enforce local ordinance - even where it does not apply

26.10.2015 8:09 Roughly 20 to 30 Romani people, most of them minors, gathered for a picnic at a park in Duchcov last month as part of a gathering organized by the Romane Kale Panthera (Romani Black Panther) group as a provocation. A local ordinance in Duchcov bans sitting outdoors in some parts of town and is obviously intended to target local Roma.  full story

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Czech Human Rights Minister rejects notion that mayors can decide who will live in a municipality

25.10.2015 8:26 Mayor of Obrnice Drahomíra Miklošová is calling for increased powers to be granted to mayors so they can decide who can live in their communities. She has repeatedly called the situation in her own municipality grave recently because a larger number of Romani families are now returning there after having attempted to settle in England.  full story

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Czech Republic: Death threats to civil society groups aiding refugees

24.10.2015 8:32 News server iDNES.cz reports that stickers featuring a noose and "DEATH TO TRAITORS" were placed on the display window and door of the Kašpárek Community Center in the Czech town of Pardubice at the beginning of this month. The vandalism occurred several days after the center organized a food drive and other aid for refugees.  full story

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Commentary: Czech Education Minister says "Romani schools" won't change overnight as a result of new law

23.10.2015 19:19 In an interview for the daily Deník.cz, Czech Education Minister Kateřina Valachová said that the ministry's plan to educate all children together is not "social engineering" and that people should not believe that it will mean the Romani children who attend "Romani schools" in the ghettos will suddenly begin attending schools elsewhere. Inclusion, according to the minister, is not something to undertake casually.  full story

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UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Czech Republic is systematically violating refugees' rights, Czech President is a xenophobe

23.10.2015 7:24 The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has charged the Czech Republic with systematically violating the rights of refugees who have been arriving there since August. Zeid Ra'ad Zeid Al-Hussein also made it know that he is disturbed by the "xenophobic public pronouncements, including Islamophobic remarks" made by Czech President Miloš Zeman.  full story

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Germany: Pegida protests get ugly, mayoral candidate stabbed by xenophobe wins election in Cologne

20.10.2015 7:41 Last week Germany was in an uproar over a demonstration by the Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West (Pegida) to which a protester brought a gallows with the names of Chancellor Angela Merkel and Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel inscribed on it. Politicians condemned the protest style as unacceptable and the state prosecutor is investigating whether it constitutes a crime.  full story

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Czech Senator wants Constitutional Court to review ordinance about "sitting in public"

19.10.2015 23:09 News server iDNES.cz reports that Czech Senator Václav Láska is planning to bring the town of Rotava before the Constitutional Court over its ordinance restricting "sitting in public" in some parts of its territory. "The expert opinion I have commissioned says the ordinance is not constitutional. The problem is that it is endeavoring achieve an aim other than its stated aim. The restrictions concern just certain sections of the town without any logical reason as to why they should apply to that particular area," he explained.  full story

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Czech Constitutional Court orders discrimination cases reopened

19.10.2015 8:30 The Czech Constitutional Court (Ústavní soud - ÚS) has ordered that a case of Romani people who made a reservation at a hotel in Most but were not given a room upon arrival be reopened. According to the original verdict, discrimination on the basis of their ethnicity was not proven, but the ÚS believes doubts persist as to whether the defense argument of the hotel was not itself tendentious.  full story

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Survey shows Czechs are the least tolerant in EU toward blacks, Buddhists, Muslims, Roma

18.10.2015 12:28 A recent survey of EU countries sponsored by the European Commission to determine the level of discrimination in the Member States was published at the beginning of October. The Czech Republic comes out of the survey as one of the least tolerant countries in the EU when it comes to foreign nationals, the members of various religions, national minorities and sexual minorities.  full story

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Czech Deputy PM: Responsible politicians go against the "voice of the people" to do the right thing

15.10.2015 19:01 Disadvantaged children should attend "normal" schools, people should not live in residential hotels in ghettos but in normal apartments, women should be paid the same as men and more must be done to protect women from violence, and society must learn how to avoid an energy crisis. These are interrelated topics, but we are not used to considering them as such.  full story

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Czech Defense Minister unshaken by poll revealing extremism in the Army, sociologist says it reflects society

12.10.2015 7:53 An opinion survey among soldiers that discovered some Czech Army personnel hold extremist views also revealed some positive results, according to Czech Defense Minister Martin Stropnický (ANO). "The soldiers have my full trust and I stand behind the Army 100 %," he said after Chief of General Staff Josef Bečvář presented the findings of the survey to MPs on the Defense Committee in the Czech lower house on 7 October.  full story

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Czech Republic: Activists sentenced for stunt to draw attention to a suicide say police made hateful, racist remarks

8.10.2015 5:31 News server Aktuálně.cz reported on 6 October that a verdict has been handed down in the case of two activists who tried to draw attention in June to the story of a man from Ostrava who committed suicide out of fear that he would become homeless after his eviction from a residential hotel. The local authority where the man was living did not approve his request for housing benefits, which meant he would no longer be able to afford to stay in the facility.  full story

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Czech School Inspectorate: Objections to counting Romani pupils in the schools are absurd pretexts

7.10.2015 2:43 Yet another "head count of Romani children" has just been completed in the Czech Republic's primary schools. The tally was conducted at all primary schools and was designed to produce information about how many Romani children are attending "special" schools, whether the practice of segregated classes (or entire schools) is operating at "normal" schools and of so, to what degree.  full story

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Anti-immigrant arson, violence mark 80th anniversary of Nazi race laws, German civil society and leaders respond

6.10.2015 8:09 The month of September saw more arson attacks on prospective asylum-seeker facilities in western Germany. A former school in Gersheim meant to shelter several dozen people was intentionally set ablaze on 10 September, according to the Saarland State Police Presidium.  full story

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Vice-Mayor of Czech Republic's second-largest city calls xenophobia the national hobby

6.10.2015 6:06 Brno Vice-Mayor Matěj Hollan (Žít Brno - Live Brno) has engaged in a sharp exchange with South Moravian Governor Michal Hašek over comments Hollan made about xenophobia in Czech society. "[During the Holocaust] there was majority-Czech anti-Semitism, which we love to forget about today, and the anti-Gypsyism of that time, which a big segment of society dismisses today, because to this day verbally sending 'Gypsies' to the gas chambers is the national hobby. These are modes of behavior and thought that are deeply rooted among the Czech public. Reading the debates today about Muslim refugees is essentially absolutely the same as reading the remarks that used to be made about the Jewish refugees. Back then the Jews (and the 'Gypsies') were to blame for everything, and today it's the Muslims (and the 'Gypsies')," Hollan wrote.  full story

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Commentary: Won't Czech education reform just rename the schools (again) without achieving equality for Roma?

3.10.2015 1:09 Confusion, incessant attacks by critics, and uncertainties - these are evidently the main characteristics of the current state of Czech education reform. The proposals now on offer are yet another attempt to close the country's "special schools" and achieve inclusion.  full story

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Czech Government rejects bill to compensate victims of illegal sterilizations

1.10.2015 9:35 Victims of illegal sterilizations perpetrated over decades apparently will not be receiving compensation from the Czech state according to a proposal developed by the team of Czech Human Rights Minister Jiří Dienstbier (Czech Social Democratic Party - ČSSD). Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (ČSSD), after a nighttime cabinet session, told journalists early this morning that the Government disagrees with the proposal, but would not give details.  full story

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Czech Gov't reviewing bill to compensate illegally sterilized women

30.9.2015 19:46 Czech Human Rights Minister Jiří Dienstbier is submitting a bill to the cabinet that legislates an apology, CZK 300 000 (EUR 11 000) in compensation, and coverage of medical treatment for women who have been illegally sterilized. Czech Deputy Human Rights Minister Martina Štěpánková, who informed Czech Television of the legislation today, estimated that several hundred women might get the chance to receive compensation.  full story

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France: Roma celebrity Eric Cantona offers to house asylum-seekers

29.9.2015 21:40 Online news server TheLocal.fr reported on 10 September that famous ex-footballer Eric Cantona has criticized the French Government's approach to asylum-seekers and is ready to house them in his own home. Cantona made his remarks in an interview for the French daily Le Parisien.  full story

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Czech Deputy PM to meet with Defense Minister about scandalous internal Army survey leak

28.9.2015 18:22 Czech Deputy Prime Minister for the Economy and Finance Minister Andrej Babiš, the chair of the governing ANO movement, wants to meet with his fellow party member Czech Defense Minister Martin Stropnický to discuss the findings of an internal Army survey. Babiš announced the plan yesterday on TV Prima's "Partie" program.  full story

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