Residents in the north Bohemian city of Ústí nad Labem are taking precautions ahead of a planned neo-Nazi march on Saturday. A Czech far-right group inspired by German neo-Nazis is allegedly marking the 64th anniversary of the bombing of the city in 1945, but observers say the real reason is to mark the upcoming anniversary of the birth of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler. A spokeswoman for the police on Friday said that some 500 right-wing extremists could attend, some of them from neighbouring Germany. Leftist radicals are also expected to come out in opposition. The police are planning on maintaining a strong presence, with some 1,000 officers. Controls will also be in place in key areas, while local transport will be re-routed during the demonstration.
The northern city of Ústí nad Labem is bracing itself for a march by neo-Nazis on Saturday that has the potential to end in violence. The march is going ahead after the city council exhausted all legal avenues to stop it, and a large police presence is being deployed to prevent trouble from getting out of hand.
Canada’s Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has called on the Czech government to crack down on unscrupulous operators believed to be behind a massive surge in the number of refugee claimants arriving at Canadian airports. The increase, believed to emanate from the Czech Republic’s Roma community, began in late 2007 when Canada lifted the visa requirement for Czech visitors. In 2008, there were 853 Czech nationals seeking Canadian protection from alleged persecution at home, a staggering close to 1,000 per cent increase on the previous year.
A court in Pardubice, eastern Bohemia, acquitted Thursday a reporter of a neo-Nazi webzine who was accused of promoting racial hatred. The court overturned a verdict by a lower court which sentenced the man to three years in jail. The court also changed the sentence of another defendant in the case from two years in prison to a suspended sentence.
The Czech EU presidency has criticized the draft of the final declaration of a UN conference on racism, the DPA news agency reported on Thursday. Czech officials expressed discontent over the use of the terms “religion” and “occupied territories” in the final declaration of the conference which will start in Geneva on Monday. Several Muslim countries have attempted to modify the final declaration so that it condemns Israel. The EU had previously threatened to boycott the event while the US, Canada, Israel and Italy have already pulled out.
Canada has expressed concern about rising numbers of asylum seekers from the Czech Republic, most of them believed to members of the Roma or gypsy minority. There’s recently been a huge jump in asylum applications - in fact last year there were more refugees from the Czech Republic than Iraq or Afghanistan. So are the claims justified, and what is Canada planning to do about it?
A court in Ustí nad Labem has overturned a city ban on a planned neo-Nazi march through the centre of town. The march has been scheduled for Saturday April 18th, two days ahead of the 120th anniversary of Adolf Hitler’s birth, and is expected to be attended by several hundred extremists from the Czech Republic and neigbouring states. Police will be out in force for the event, with re-enforcements expected from other regions. Locals have been asked to avoid problem areas so as not to get caught up in potential street fights.
A new report on poverty and gender equality in the Czech Republic for 2008, put out by the international network Social Watch, has criticised the country for discriminating against women on the labour market. The report also highlights issues concerning the country’s Romany minority as well as the situation of the poor. The editor of the report, Tomáš Tožička, explains which of these groups is facing the biggest difficulties.
The police is gearing up for a planned neo-Nazi march in the town of Ustí nad Labem on April 18th, just two days ahead of the 120th anniversary of Adolf Hitler’s birth. The head of the north Bohemian police force Jiří Vorálek said several hundred neo-Nazis were expected to attend predominantly from the Czech Republic and neighbouring Germany. Police reinforcements are being brought in from around the country and the city’s inhabitants have been asked to stay away from problem areas so as not to get caught up in potential street violence.
In 2007, the Czech Republic was condemned by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg for the way its education system treated the country’s Romany minority. The court found that Roma children were frequently discriminated against and sent to schools for the disabled, when they did not show signs of learning difficulties. On International Roma Day this Wednesday, the Czech Education Ministry released the results of two studies it commissioned to determine how Roma children are faring in the country’s schools now. I spoke to Education Minister
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