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March 20, 2018
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Czech Republic: Prima TV station told reporters to depict refugees as a risk and a threat or they would be fired

31.5.2016 13:31 The Czech NGO Hlídací ("Watchdog") has testimonies from several sources inside Prima TV stating that the television station's management gave producers there clear instructions during a meeting on 7 September 2015 about what angle to take toward the refugee "crisis" in its news reporting. The station's reporting on the issue took center stage this spring because of how it chose to report on the arrival of Christian refugees from Iraq to the Czech Republic.  full story

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Analysis: Refugees, the past, Chairman Vodička, and the Russian path of the Czech Fighters' Union

19.5.2016 13:03 Jaroslav Vodička, chair of the Czech Freedom Fighters' Union (ČSBS) caused a certain amount of disarray - as well as an engaging, spontaneous reaction of rejection from Chief Rabbi Karol Sidon - when he gave a speech at Sunday's commemorative assembly in Terezín that included generalizing, xenophobic blather about refugees. Because Mr Vodička echoes [Czech President] Miloš Zeman (whom he supported during his presidential campaign and with whom he has exchanged medals), and because recently the ČSBS has been joined not just by the President, but also by several other bizarre figures in public life here (the group's cell in Lidice is led by Jana Bobošíková, presidential spokesperson Ovčáček has joined, etc.), the impression might arise that the Union has only now, during these new conditions of rule by [Czech
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister] Babiš and Zeman, been infiltrated by nationalist/populist "elements" who have stolen it from the anti-Nazi resistance fighters and are now abusing it.  full story

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Czech Republic: Analysis finds online hate rising, adult males perpetrate the most

13.4.2016 13:24 During 2015 a noticeable growth occurred in the amount of hate speech on Czech-language online social networks and other communications platforms such as discussion forums linked to articles on news servers. Those are the results of an analysis produced by the People in Need (Člověk v tísni) called "Hate Speech in the Online Environment and Social Networks" (Projevy nenávisti v online prostoru a sociálních sítích).  full story

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Jan Husák: Educating everyone together challenges each of us to adapt

7.4.2016 12:02 When it comes to the 2007 judgment of the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg in the matter of D.H. and Others versus the Czech Republic, contradictory positions are currently being taken on this issue in Czech society, with some publicly condemning this judgment while others defend it. Even though both sides of this dispute predominantly connect it with the obligation to abolish the "special schools" and lay the groundwork for educating everyone together, after familiarizing myself with this unique judgment I see its essential message as being something else, namely, its interpretation of indirect discrimination.  full story

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Analysis: Apartheid and segregation are being applied to Romani schoolchildren in the Czech Republic

24.3.2016 2:03 Romani children comprise almost one-third of the pupils who now attend schools previously referred to as "special schools" (zvláštní školy) even though less than 3 % of the population of the Czech Republic is Romani. That fact was reported by the international human rights protection organization Amnesty International (AI) in February in a report entitled "Must Try Harder - Ethnic Discrimination of Romani Children in Czech Schools".  full story

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Analysis: Czech daily reprints eight-year-old dissenting opinions of Strasbourg judgment on racial discrimination in education

22.3.2016 18:20 The Czech daily Právo has published a report on the dissenting opinions of judges on the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg stating that the Czech Republic lost the D.H. case at that venue in 2007 because the state had attempted to educate Romani people. The fact that the statements are eight years old did not prevent the daily from making them the main story of yesterday's edition.  full story

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Czech NGO report finds Muslims and Roma most frequent victims of hate violence

16.3.2016 18:16 A total of 86 cases of hate violence in the Czech Republic were recorded during the year 2014 by the In IUSTITIA organization, which aids the victims of such crimes. The incidents most frequently happened because of the victims' actual or perceived ethnicity, nationality, or religious faith.  full story

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Analysis: Czech Police are confusing lawful behavior with "left-wing extremism"

4.3.2016 18:55 In September 1998, 17 years ago, the Antifa initiative held a march in the Czech city of Brno under the slogan "Blacks, whites, let's unite!" and "Why see difference when nothing divides us?!" The organizer of that march, Dušan Rosenbaum, said at the close of the demonstration that racism and fascism were more than just a problem for Jews, Roma and other persons of color here, but had also become a problem for LGBT people, those living with disabilities, ethnic minorities, humanists and human rights defenders: "Let's prevent conflict arising from natural human diversity, whether it be ethnic, cultural, national, racial or sexual," he warned.  full story

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Intentional misdiagnosis of intellectual disability in the Czech Republic - a case study

2.2.2016 23:36 During the past year, the Otevřená společnost, o.p.s. organization has performed a survey of lower primary education in the Czech Republic. That survey especially emphasized the way instructors view the education of majority-society boys and girls as compared to Romani boys and girls.  full story

Analysis: Czech court convicts neo-Nazis as an organized group for the first time in history

1.2.2016 20:36 Over the past three years we have regularly reported on the case of neo-Nazis from the Czech faction of the Blood & Honour organization who have been indicted for that activity (see here, here and here). This analysis is a summary of the development of this case so far, which has just produced its first verdict: Most of those indicted have been convicted as members of an organized group.
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Analysis: Hungarian court verdict upholding life sentences for racist murders has taken effect

17.1.2016 1:45 In Budapest on 12 January, Hungary's Supreme Court rejected an appeal from three men accused of having committed a series of racist attacks as members of an organized group from 2008-2009 in nine locations around the country resulting in six deaths and five seriously injured victims. Árpád Kiss, his brother István Kiss, and Zsolt Pető were convicted and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, while their accomplice István Csontos will go to prison for 13 years.  full story

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Analysis: Will Czech President Zeman make it into the 2015 extremism report?

17.11.2015 15:13 For almost 14 days the group called "We Don't Want Islam in the Czech Republic" (Islám v ČR nechceme - IVČRN) and its political wing, the Bloc against Islam (Bloc proti Islámu - BPI) have been constantly calling for people to attend an assembly in support of Czech President Miloš Zeman "in his opinions about immigration and Islam". The event is to take place at Albertov in Prague today on the anniversary of 17 November 1989 and 1939.  full story

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Czech reporter's articles promote anti-Romani stereotypes through half-truths and manipulation

9.11.2015 21:49 The Czech daily Mladá fronta DNES and its Internet portal have published a series of articles describing the development to date of a project in the town of Přerov spearheaded by local councilor Jiří Kohout, who has also been chair of the Public Affairs (VV) party since last year. The aim of the project was supposed to be (and still is) the employment of persons who have long been unemployed.  full story

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Marek Szilvási: Czech Government should stop gambling with the country's reputation - the fight for compensation for forced sterilization is not over

4.11.2015 19:15 I remember being with the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) just a couple of months when I was invited to Ostrava to an informal meeting with the Group of Women Harmed by Coercive Sterilization, an informal collective of harmed self-advocating Romani women. The meeting was organised by the local Life Together NGO in early April 2012 to celebrate the fact that after years of local activism, lawsuits and advocacy struggles, the Government’s Council for Human Rights had finally recommended the Government develop a compensation scheme for involuntarily sterilized women. A month earlier, the Group, Life Together and the ERRC had sent an official letter welcoming this government commitment. I took an early morning train and after a half-day journey from Budapest to Ostrava, I was warmly welcomed by the Life Together staff and the Romani women activists, whom until then I knew only through phone calls and email correspondence. After shedding my water-soaked coat I entered the second room and was introduced to Monika Šimúnková, the Czech Government’s Human Rights Commissioner, and Kateřina Valachová, now the current Minister of Education, who was at that time working for the Ombudsman. The atmosphere was relaxed, almost festive, and I soon succumbed to it and started expecting this controversy soon to be over.  full story

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Czech media reopen dispute over Agency for Social Inclusion's approach to aiding Roma

13.8.2015 21:07 Czech commentator Petr Holub has revived the discussion on the future of the Czech Government Agency for Social Inclusion with an analysis published on news server Holub believes that Czech Human Rights Minister Jiří Dienstbier began a fundamental change in the Agency's approach to social inclusion with his dismissal of the previous head of the Agency in April.  full story

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Czech Labor Offices awarding housing benefits to more than half of all applicants

13.7.2015 23:07 Apparently thousands of new homeless people will not be created by municipalities in the Czech Republic after all. At least not for now.  full story

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Tasks awaiting the Czech Education Ministry need more than a temporary replacement in charge

3.6.2015 19:16 Even though it may seem that Marcel Chládek is leaving office primarily because he has not treated women and colleagues not involved with sports well at the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, there are more reasons than that for his dismissal. The degree of his misconceived ideas, such as the distribution of tablet computing devices to schoolchildren, or the introduction of "practical" classes in the primary schools, had in fact exceeded all tolerable limits.  full story

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Analysis: Czech PM must clarify Government's stance on discrimination in education

27.4.2015 16:37 A report by Amnesty International (AI) released last week reminded us of more than the fact that the discrimination of Romani children persists in the Czech schools. The differing reactions to the report from Czech Education Minister Marcel Chládek and Czech Human Rights Minister Jiří Dienstbier once again showed that despite declarations of unity, the approaches taken by governing politicians to the future of inclusive education and the "practical schools" are very different.  full story

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Will the Czech Gov't Agency for Social Inclusion survive its director's departure?

17.4.2015 20:40 On Thursday, 16 April, Czech Human Rights Minister Jiří Dienstbier removed Martin Šimáček from his post as director of the Czech Government Agency for Social Inclusion. Šimáček said in an interview for news server that what lies behind the change is a law on state service that is about to take effect.  full story

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Documentary film review: "Suppressed Letters", about a Czechoslovak experiment with Romani children

12.4.2015 1:27 On 9 April, Czech Television broadcast the documentary film "Zatajené dopisy" ("Suppressed Letters"), which premiered at this year's One World Film Festival in Prague. In this film, director Tomáš Kudrna reveals the history of the so-called Květušínský experiment, which took place 65 years ago.  full story

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