Daily news summary News

10-04-2004

President asked to bring up human rights violations on a visit to China

Several human rights groups have asked President Vaclav Klaus to bring up the issue of human rights violations during his official visit to China next week. Olympic Watch, Amnesty International, Lungta and People in Need have written a joint letter to the Czech President asking him to speak up on behalf of five concrete political prisoners in China and to urge the Chinese leadership to ratify an international agreement on civic rights and political freedoms which it signed some time ago. President Klaus and his wife Livia are due to begin their official visit to China on April 15th.

Plan to establish a list of police informers evokes controversy

There is controversy within the Czech police force over a plan to establish an official list of police informers. Police officers argue that establishing a network of trusty informers takes a long time and the existence of an official list would scare many of them away. They claim that establishing such a list would take the Czech Republic back to the communist years when the police had lists of informers as well as lists of agents. However the police presidium is insistent, saying that although it understands officers' concerns the present practice of each officer guarding his contacts is proving costly and inefficient. Whenever an officer leaves, we loose all his informers and different police units often look for informers in the same circles although there are already available contacts, the police president argued.

Second Czech victim of avalanche

A Czech ski alpinist who was seriously injured in an avalanche in the Slovak High Tatras on Friday has died. He and a friend were climbing the Rysy peak when the avalanche hit and both were swept down to the bottom of a valley where the local helicopter rescue service found them. Despite the fact that the helicopter was close by and provided immediate assistance one of the alpinists was dead on the spot, the other was rushed to a hospital with serious head injuries. He lived for only a few more hours. The High Tatras, Slovakia's highest mountains, have proved a treacherous challenge for many - six Czech mountaineers lost their lives there since the beginning of this year.

Another rail-crossing collision

Two young people were killed and another seriously injured when their car collided with an oncoming train in the early hours of Saturday. The accident occurred around 2.30 am when five young people returning from a disco in their old Skoda car either failed to see or disregarded the warning lights at a rail crossing. Two young women died on the spot and another passenger suffered serious injuries. Police are investigating the incident. The number of Czechs killed in rail crossing-collisions annually has evoked much concern and the police have repeatedly appealed to drivers not to ignore the warning lights.

Police arrest drug peddlers

The police have arrested two drug peddlers operating at a Czech mountain resort. The men, aged 23 and 25, had three kilograms of hashish in their possession and supplied primarily foreign tourists. Both were employees of a mountain chalet and have admitted to the crime. They allegedly intended to use the money for a luxury holiday in Spain. They both face a sentence of up to ten years in prison.

Weather:

Sunday should be partly cloudy with day temperatures between 11 and 15 degrees Celsius.

10-04-2004