Daily news summary News of Radio Prague

20-04-2003

Field hospital equipment being flown out to Kuwait

Planeloads of medical equipment and supplies are being flown to Kuwait City in preparation of the setting up of a Czech field hospital in Basra, southern Iraq. The defense ministry's press department said the operation was running smoothly and the equipment and medical supplies would be stored in Kuwait City until a suitable site for the field hospital had been found in Basra. Most of the hospital staff have already arrived in Kuwait. The Czech field hospital, which will have two operating theatres and a capacity of 50 beds, should serve the civilian population in and around Basra. It has been sent to Iraq on a humanitarian mission and is not part of the military operation underway in the country.

Prisoners still hoping for clemency

Over 4,000 prisoners, who had been hoping for a broad presidential amnesty, are now making individual appeals for pardon from President Vaclav Klaus. Although presidential amnesties have a tradition in the Czech Republic, President Klaus said shortly after taking office that he would use the right to pardon only in exceptional cases. Broad amnesties, he said, undermined the role of the judiciary. Individual appeals for pardon from the President are now piling up, and the Justice Ministry is reportedly awaiting the president's decision. According to the President's spokesman Tomas Klvana, the President has not yet reached a final decision and will consult the matter with the Justice Minister.

Police searching for skinheads who attacked Zlin pub

The police is searching for a group of skinheads who smashed up a pub and beat up several people before the start of a planned rock concert in the Moravian town of Zlin on Saturday night. Eye witnesses said a group of eight skinheads burst into the club and attacked pub visitors at random, using truncheons and even pub chairs. "It was a demonstration of force and there was nothing we could do" one of the musicians told the CTK press agency. Although the pub owner alerted the police the skinheads allegedly jumped into their cars and drove off before their arrival. One person was taken to hospital with serious back injuries, the others escaped with cuts and bruises. The police has appealed for assistance in catching the culprits, asking eyewitnesses to disclose any information that might help to trace them.

Anarchists march through Prague

A march through Prague by some 100 anarchists passed without incident on Sunday. According to its organizers the event was a public protest against fascism and the growing violence committed by skinhead and neo-Nazi groups in the Czech Republic today. Police, who were out on the streets to maintain order, said there was only one tense moment when the anarchists came face to face with a group of about twenty skinheads. The two sides exchanged verbal insults but were quickly separated by police.

Weather:

Monday should be partly cloudy with some rain in the south-western parts of the country and day temperatures between 15 and 19 degrees Celsius.

20-04-2003