Czech Republic: Romani victims of racist violence still waiting for compensation
Two Romani people from the Klatovy district continue to wait for the compensation awarded to them last November by the Regional Court in Plzeň. A total of six Romani people filed a civil lawsuit for protection of their personality rights over the trauma they experienced when violent racists Václav Boublík and Jiří Miškovič attacked them in July 2011.
The court awarded a total of CZK 70 000 to two of the victims. One perpetrator has appealed the verdict, the other has not.
That appeal will be heard by the High Court. None of the six Romani victims have appealed the November ruling.
The court in Plzeň awarded CZK 60 000 in compensation to the main victim, Miroslav Červeňák. Jitka Vačková, who was also a target of the attack, is also supposed to receive CZK 10 000 in compensation.
Václav Boublík, age 23, and Jiří Miškovič, age 27, attacked the Romani people in 2011 in Nýrsko. A first-instance court in Klatovy gave them prison sentences for the racially motivated assault of 18 months, suspended for three years.
Boublík also had his drivers' license suspended for two years. His license had already been suspended at the time of the incident.
Despite being banned from driving at the time, Boublík drove away after the attack while drunk. However, those criminal sentences were pardoned by Czech President Václav Klaus as part of the amnesty he declared before he left office last year.
The legal representative for the defendants, Rostislav Netrval, says another, similar civil suit between the Romani victims, Boublíkem and Miškovič is still before the District Court in Klatovy. Miroslav Červeňák and Jitka Vačková are seeking separate compensation because the attack has made it more difficult for them to participate in society.
The next hearing in that matter will take place in February in Klatovy. According to expert evaluations, Červeňák has been suffering from generalized anxiety disorder, which he is said to have suffered from even before the assault.
After the attack, Červeňák began to develop post-traumatic stress disorder. Vačková began to display the symptoms of anxiety disorder after the incident.
The Regional Court in Plzeň awarded them their compensation on that basis. The other four Romani people who sued were not targeted by the assault and no compensation was awarded to them.
Boublík and Miškovič began the incident by first attacking a small group of children in a pedestrian zone for no reason and chasing them to their homes. When Červeňák opened his door to see what was happening, he was physically assaulted. His mother came to his rescue, pulling a baseball bat from one assailant's hands and grabbing at the back of the other assailant, who was strangling her son at the time. The family's grandchildren woke up their grandfather in the meantime and he joined the brawl.
The attackers ultimately fled by car, crashed their vehicle, and were arrested. Both Boublík and Miškovič say they are not to blame for the racially motivated attack on the Romani family and deny having perpetrated it.
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