Czech Republic: 30 Romani people demonstrate for reopening of murder investigation
Just 30 people assembled on Saturday, 11 April in the Czech town of Tanvald for a demonstration demanding a new investigation into the case of the shooting death of Ladislav Tatár, Jr. Jan Sieber of Tanvald was 63 years old when he shot the Romani youth and his brother in the early morning hours of New Year's Day 2012.
The 22-year-old Ladislav died at the scene, while his older brother Patrik, age 24, suffered gunshot wounds. State prosecutors said the case was one of self-defense.
The demonstration was convened by activist Andrej Lúčka, who alleges that the police and state prosecutor proceeded incorrectly during the investigation. "There are many unclear things about the case of Ladislav Tatár, Jr's shooting. As his father insists, the knife that the boys allegedly used to attack Mr Sieber has never been found. State police officers were counseled in the home of the attacker and the reconstruction took place without the injured Patrik being present - the shooter was never asked to take a lie detector test and there are also suspicions that the detectives were biased," Lučka told news server Romea.cz last week.
A speech by Lúčka was the main focus of the demonstration. "He spoke very emotionally, demanding the reopening of the investigation and primarily that the shooter undergo a lie detector test," Romea.cz correspondent Ján Čonka said.
"From the central parking lot where the demonstration took place, people then walked to the Catholic church, where the priest spoke to them," Čonka said. "Some of those assembled then accompanied Mr Tatár to his son's grave, where they laid flowers and lit candles."
Organizers of the demonstration had anticipated the participation of as many as 500 people from all over the country. Most local Romani residents, however, did not support it.
"Local Roma do not at all like the fact that Romani people from elsewhere will flock to Tanvald, demonstrate, and then just go back home. The locals who disagree with this demonstration will suffer the consequences of it. Already now we are being closely watched in the shops by majority-society members who are angry, who fear they should be anticipating some kind of 'revenge'. We are of the opinion that there are other ways to renew the investigation of the case of the boy who was shot. Local Roma are afraid the result will be racially motivated attacks," Patrik Kotlár, a member of the committee that petitioned the local government not to let the demonstration go forward, told news server Romea.cz last week.
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