A Vietnamese citizen named Le Kim Thanh, who briefly went on hunger strike in protest at a deportation order, is to be expelled from the country in the next few weeks, a spokesperson for the Czech police said on Wednesday. The man lost his right to remain in the Czech Republic when he lost his job and his case has received a good deal of attention. While the human rights minister, Michael Kocáb, said Le Kim Thanh should be allowed to stay in the country, the minister of the interior, Ivan Langer, said he had broken Czech law and had to go. His lawyer is appealing the expulsion order.
Vietnamese citizens have asked to be allowed to remain in the Czech
Republic if they lose their jobs. At a meeting with Interior Ministry
officials, leaders of the Vietnamese community said they were capable of
supporting one another in the event of being laid off, arguing that
possible deportation was too heavy-handed a measure on the part of the
Czech authorities. The Vietnamese leaders said their compatriots would
prefer to stay in the Czech Republic and do community service, for
The Czech government recently launched a scheme to give laid-off workers from non-EU states EUR 500 and a ticket home. So far around 550 people – most of them from Mongolia – have signed up for the programme, which is open to 2,000 foreigners in its first phase. Only 20 or 25 people from Vietnam have taken up the offer.
The Supreme Administrative Court on Wednesday rejected a petition by the Czech government to ban the far-right Workers’ Party. The court said the cabinet had not provided sufficient evidence that the small extremist group - which first made headlines last year when its supporters staged a march on a Romany ghetto - posed a real threat to democracy. The verdict was applauded by the party, but probably by few others. The Czech government will now have to bring more proof to support its position, or come up with different ways of dealing with right-wing
Many in the Czech medical profession were unpleasantly surprised by recent comments by the head of the Czech doctors’ association Milan Kubek. Speaking before a parliamentary committee on problems in health care, the head of the association, suggested that work done by female doctors was incomparable to that done by their male counterparts. His words have since led to growing criticism and calls for him to step down.
The Czech Constitutional Court rejected on Monday a complaint by a Romany
woman who underwent forced sterilization in an Ostrava hospital in 1997.
Iveta Červeňáková, who was 21 at the time, complained about a decision
by the police to shelve a criminal case against two of the hospital’s
physicians. The Court said none of her constitutional rights were
by that decision.
Ms Červeňáková was sterilized in the Ostrava Municipal Hospital in 1997, after giving birth to her second child. A local court awarded her 500,000 crowns, or more than 22,000 US dollars, in damages, but a higher court said last year her claim was covered by the statute of limitations.
A court in the city of Plzeň, western Bohemia, lifted on Monday a ban on an extremist march, allowing radicals to “protest against Zionism”. The march, originally planned for February 21, had been banned by one of the city’s municipalities for fears it would incite racial hatred. City officials also said the person who applied for a permission to march was a well-know figure of the Czech neo-Nazi movement. The court revoked the decision to ban the march due to its “unreviewability”, saying it would publish precise reasons on Friday. A spokesperson for the court said the march can take place within 30 days of the verdict being delivered to the organizers.
The city of Chomutov in North Bohemia is under fire over a controversial new method of reclaiming debts owed by low-income families – sending bailiffs to recover the money as soon as they receive it as social benefits. Most of the families are from the Romany or gypsy minority, and the method has ignited a new row over the integration of the Roma into Czech society.
The minister for human rights and minorities, Michael Kocáb, visited one
of the country’s largest Romany ghettos in Janov on Tuesday, describing
the situation as “dramatic”. Mr Kocáb said however he was pleased with
the lively debate between the local authorities, human rights groups and
Romany NGOs. The local mayor gave Mr Kocáb keys to an apartment in the
Janov housing estate so that the government could set up an office in the
Janov, part of the northern Bohemian town of Litvínov, is one of the Czech Republic’s largest Romany ghettos. In November last year, it became a target of far-right activists who intended to stage a march through the area; the attempt ended in a clash with riot police.
Around 40 supporters of the small far-right Workers’ Party gathered in
the town of Postoloprty, northern Bohemia, on Saturday in order to deal
with alleged Romany crime. The party leadership said a number of local
citizens asked them to help stop petty crime and breaches of public order
attributed to the town’s Romany minority. The far-right activists spent
some two hours in the town, talking to locals and distributing leaflets. No
disturbances were reported. The Workers’ Party originally planned to
stage a march through the town but it was banned by local authorities.
The government is seeking the banning of the Worker’s Party following attacks on a Romany community last November. The request is now being reviewed by the Supreme Administrative Court.
The Supreme Administrative Court on Wednesday adjourned proceedings on the abolition of the ultra-right Workers’ Party until March 4th, when it is expected to pass a verdict. The case has come to court at the instigation of the Interior Ministry which is seeking to get the party outlawed on the grounds that its behaviour and statutes are in violation of Czech law. The Workers’ Party’s has called for zero tolerance towards the post-revolution political system and set up an armed guard to patrol Romany inhabited areas in the north Bohemian town of Litvínov. The party has organized numerous rallies and marches in Romany inhabited areas which frequently end in violent street clashes with the police.
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