Sixteen Roma organisations have put forward an official protest calling on Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek to distance himself from statements by his Deputy Prime Minister Jiri Cunek published on Friday. Asked in the Friday edition of the Czech tabloid Blesk whether others could receive state subsidies similar to those received by the Roma, Mr Cunek replied they would "have to get a suntan somewhere, start trouble and light fires on town squares" to get some politicians to feel sorry for them. Roma activists say that Mr Cunek has crossed the limits of social acceptability through his statements, and have described his approach to Roma issues as "clerical fascism." Aside from being a deputy prime minister, Mr Cunek is also the head of the Christian Democratic Party.
In the course of the last decade the Czech police force has increasingly been confronted with various forms of extremism and street violence. And more often than not it has been criticized for either failing to take action or over-reacting. The Interior Ministry says it is training officers to deal with such situations and has now issued a manual to help them recognize various extremist symbols.
The Czech Republic's Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs Alexandr Vondra has said that the EU needs to reform in order to remain competitive on the global market. Speaking at a conference held in Prague to mark the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, which paved the way for the establishment of the European Union, the Civic Democrat senator also said that the Declaration of Berlin policy document, which is being prepared to mark the EU's 50th birthday should not hinder free economic competition and should be thoroughly discussed by member states before being accepted. Speaking at the same conference, former President Vaclav Havel said the EU should do more to speak out against human rights abuses around the world.
Around one hundred right-wing extremists demonstrated in the Moravian town of Blansko on Saturday, monitored by around fifty Czech police. The demonstrators reportedly gathered to protest against a small Mongolian minority of around four hundred in the town, many of whom are employed at a local firm. One of the extremists was reportedly arrested for giving the banned "Hitler salute". The protest was otherwise without incident.
Czech law gives special rights to minorities who make up at least ten percent of the population of a town or village. This gives them the right to have public signs in their own language, and to use their mother tongue when dealing with government authorities. According to the last census Moravians - who live in the eastern half of the Czech Republic - are the second largest ethnic group in the country. That would give them special rights as a minority - but are they one?
Eight people have been charged after clashes between members of far-right and hard-left groups in Prerov on Saturday, police said. Bottles and cobblestones were thrown as police struggled to keep 180 members of a group called National Corporativism apart from 150 left-wing extremists in the north Moravian town.
Five people were arrested during a march by a far-right group called National Corporativism in Prerov on Saturday. Police struggled to keep the marchers separate from a left-wing group who were protesting against them in the Moravian town. Bottles and cobblestones were thrown, but the police said there had been no recorded injuries.
The Jeden Svet (One World) festival of human rights documentaries is run by the NGO People in Need. This year's One World, featuring over 120 films, has just come to an end in Prague, and now moves on to the provinces. In this edition of the Arts we speak to the man behind the colourful festival and many of this year's guests.
March 8th is International Women's Day but there's little to show for it in the Czech Republic. Most Czechs' memories of International Women's Day are restricted to folk songs, drink, red carnations and communist rhetoric. As a result, it has been discarded as a remnant of the past and few people today even notice its existence. The Czech Women's Lobby is now trying to change that and get Czechs to re-embrace the original idea behind International Women's Day. Blanka Knotkova from the Gender Studies Department of Charles University remembers the
The Prague metro - this is where I would most probably have become just another statistic if I - trapped with four neo-Nazis - hadn't escaped a split second before the doors of the wagon closed. In the Czech Republic people of mixed race like myself - I'm half Ghanaian - and foreigners of different ethnic backgrounds are always wary of our surroundings. But surprisingly, the police and anti-extremist NGOs say there is no need for our heightened attention. With only a few exceptions, foreigners are relatively safe from far-right extremists.
Czech researchers develop top-grade respirator for 3D printing
“I am taking it minute by minute” – Foreigners in the Czech Republic on quarantine and being cut off from their families
Czech Republic goes into quarantine to slow down coronavirus spread
A mask-tree as a form of solidarity
Czechs resort to making DIY facemasks in face of their shortage