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August 16, 2018
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Czech Interior Minister says MP is lying about foreign nationals voting

17.7.2018 13:17 Czech MP Tomio Okamura (SPD), the vice-chair of the lower house and chair of the populist, xenophobic SPD party, announced on his official Facebook profile on Sunday that "Foreigners without Czech citizenship will newly be able to vote in the Czech Republic and run for office!" He also accused the new Czech Interior Minister Jan Hamáček of having instituted the measures immediately upon taking office.  full story

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Hungarian Scouts claim they did not discriminate against Romani applicants

16.7.2018 13:52 Are disadvantaged Hungarian Roma youth who want to become Scouts now the latest victims of the transformation underway in the Hungarian social climate? A case from Borsod County has captured the attention of international media asking whether the organization, which traditionally espouses Christian values and is open to all, has turned its back on Romani applicants.  full story

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Italy asks Czech Republic to receive asylum-seekers, Czech PM refuses

16.7.2018 10:13 Responding to a question from the Czech News Agency (ČTK) about the current Italian request for aid with refugees arriving on Italian territory, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) said the Czech Republic will not be accepting any migrants and that he is insisting the reception of migrants be governed by the principle of voluntary action by the EU Member States. Italian PM Giuseppe Conte has asked the EU Member States for aid with redistributing 450 such people who recently ended up lost at sea.  full story

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Slovak court finds Romani tenants were discriminated against during eviction and relocation

16.7.2018 9:23 A court in eastern Slovakia has decided that the authorities committed discrimination when they evicted tenants from buildings in the center of the town of Sabinov because their treatment of the non-Romani and the Romani tenants was not the same. The Regional Court in Prešov has now closed a dispute that has lasted more than a decade  with its decision.  full story

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Residents of Czech neighborhood announce "Two Weeks of Vigilance" to protest their impending eviction

16.7.2018 7:43 On Monday 9 July the residents of the Bedřiška neighborhood in Ostrava, Czech Republic announced "Two Weeks of Vigilance" out of concern that they will lose their housing there. The event, subtitled "Colors of Bedřiška" (a reference to the annual music festival Colors of Ostrava), is meant to draw attention to the difficult situation of the locals and present life in the neighborhood, which has not met the definition of an "excluded locality" for some time, to the public.  full story

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Czech politician spreads hateful racist hoaxes online against dark-skinned footballers, Muslims and Roma

16.7.2018 6:32 The Czech daily Právo reported on 10 July that Dominik Hanko, chair of the Ústecký Regional Authority's Committee for Social Affairs, Security and Socially Excluded Localities and vice-chair of the "Freedom and Direct Democracy" (SPD) party there, recently posted to social media the allegation that "Pensions for the unemployed are calculated based on the average wage. That's not fair!"  full story

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Czech Public Health Institute focuses on Romani children's health, odds are against those in social exclusion

16.7.2018 5:33 The health of Romani people is worse than that of the majority population in the Czech Republic. This fact is caused primarily, for socially excluded Romani people, by their insufficient awareness about healthful lifestyles, their lower educations, and their lower incomes.  full story

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Finland: Owners of first Romani café say they want it to bridge cultures

15.7.2018 10:23 News server Yle reports that in mid-June the National Romani Forum in Finland announced that a business called Café Rom in the town of Kotka had become the first restaurant in the country to be owned and managed by local Romani people. Café Rom is located in an old portside cafeteria in Hovinsaari district.  full story

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Czech evictees must leave school gym this weekend for housing in socially excluded localities

14.7.2018 9:25 Of the people who had to move away from one of two residential hotels that closed as of 30 June in the Czech city of Ústí nad Labem without having anywhere else to go, three families with children and three single men remain housed in the gym of a primary school in the socially excluded Předlice neighborhood. As of yesterday, two of those families have rental housing arranged in a building near Na Nivách Street, while the third family says they believe they will manage to find housing in the Nové Březno neighborhood.  full story

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Czech Public Defender of Rights calls for social housing law, says media should stop blaming Roma

13.7.2018 20:40 At the beginning of this month the annual report on the activity of the Office of the Public Defender of Rights, Anna Šabatová, was discussed in the Czech lower house. The report included motions for Government review that Šabatová last managed to bring forward in 2014.
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Czech Agriculture Ministry wants to collaborate with Romani business group, says Czech Forests already working with one

12.7.2018 11:28 News server Lidovky.cz reported on 8 July that the Association of Romani Entrepreneurs and Guilds was alleging that "nobody" has responded to their offer to provide Romani workers to combat the bark beetle calamity. The Agriculture Ministry, however, says it welcomes the aid and that negotiations will begin soon.  full story

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German court sentences neo-Nazi to life in prison

11.7.2018 17:43 Beate Zschäpe, the main defendant in the trial of members of the National Socialist Underground, a neo-Nazi group, will spend the rest of her life in a German prison according to a sentence handed down against her today by the High Court in the state of Munich, who found her guilty of 10 murders. Deutsche-Presse Agentur reported that her co-defendant Ralf Wohlleben, who supplied the group with weapons, was given a 10-year sentence.  full story

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Edita Stejskalová: OSCE should send observer missions to Ukraine regarding pogroms against Roma and monitor the police investigation

11.7.2018 9:28 Speaking on Slovak Radio's "Romani Word" (Rómské slovo) program, political scientist Edita Stejskalová said she believes the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) should take action regarding the recent fatal attacks against Romani people in Ukraine by creating an observer mission to monitor the investigation of the recent pogroms against Roma there. Stejskalová reminded listeners that from 2008-2009 such attacks against Roma were perpetrated in Hungary, that police in Slovakia have attacked Romani settlements in similar ways, and that a similar neo-Nazi arson attack in the Czech Republic led to the severe burning of a Romani child, Natálka.  full story

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Italy's Lombardy Region first to conduct census of Roma and Sinti, plans to raze illegal camps, Romani organizations protesting

10.7.2018 10:23 In Italy the legislature of Lombardy in the north of the country has given the green light to a discriminatory, unconstitutional census of Romani and Sinti people living in that region. Italian media report that a regional commission has been entrusted with auditing legally-established Romani settlements and that illegal ones are to be closed.  full story

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Jan Cibrik explains his collaboration with Czech city officials who are so harsh about impoverished Roma

9.7.2018 20:36 The crisis in the Czech town of Ústí nad Labem that broke out in connection with the closing of two residential hotels seems to have been smoothed over for now. Thanks to enormous efforts primarily by the Deputy Mayor of one of the centrally-located municipal departments, Karel Karika, most of the people living in the closing facility in that municipality managed to find new housing, while about 25 people from the other facility have been provided temporary shelter by the city in the gym of a school in the excluded Předlice neighborhood.  full story

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Czech city with homeless evictees refused Govt Agency for Social Inclusion help, some local Roma petitioned against it

9.7.2018 18:35 The local assembly in the Czech city of Ústí nad Labem refused to collaborate with the Czech Government Agency for Social Inclusion at a meeting last month. Those in favor of the collaboration were just two assembly members from the movement "Pro! Ústí" ("For! Ústí").  full story

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Czech Police charge young woman over hateful online speech against first-graders

9.7.2018 7:29 The Czech daily Mladá fronta DNES reports that a young woman from the Tachov area has been charged in the case of the hateful, racist commentaries posted beneath a photograph of first-graders at a primary school in Teplice. If convicted she faces up to three years in prison.  full story

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European Parliament: Shouting matches over Italian "census" of Roma - Járóka finds it reasonable, Post calls for a halt

8.7.2018 22:22 The European Parliament experienced a stormy debate last week over the most recent anti-Romani statements by Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini. The minister announced that he is planning a census of Romani people in the country and the deportation of all who do not have documents.  full story

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Czech Government revives position of Human Rights Commissioner

8.7.2018 9:04 Speaking in an interview for Czech Television on 28 June, Czech Labor and Social Affairs Minister Petr Krčál said the Government had approved Martina Štěpánková for the reinstated position of Human Rights Commissioner. Prior to the abolition of the post of Human Rights Minister and the allocation of the human rights agenda to the Justice Ministry at the end of 2017, she had been the Deputy Human Rights Minister.  full story

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Czech Supreme Court overturns acquittal on publication of Hitler's speeches, wants more evidence

7.7.2018 9:20 The Czech Supreme Court has overturned the acquittal in the case of the publication of a book of speeches by Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler in Czech translation. The case has been returned to the state prosecutor for further investigation and the accumulation of more evidence.  full story

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