The family of a Romanian Roma boy who died in a Prague hospital on Monday
left the Czech capital on Tuesday evening with his body for burial at
A convoy of cars accompanied the coffin of the 17-year-old said to be the
‘prince’ of an extended Roma clan. The boy died following a drowning
accident which left him in a coma. Many members of the family and clan
to Prague to be by his bedside as he fought for his life.
Confusion surrounded the funeral preparations on Tuesday. The family at first appealed for help saying they did not have the money to pay a funeral firm to transport the body. Prague city hall offered to step in to meet their cash shortfall but that offer was turned down with the family saying they had collected enough. The costs for a funeral company to transport the body to Romania was estimated at around 90,000 crowns.
There was a sad end to the story of a Romani “prince” from Romania on Monday when the 17-year-old boy died at Prague’s Vinohrady hospital. The boy – heir to the ‘throne’ of a Romani Olach clan – spent two weeks on a life support machine after almost drowning in a lake near Prague. Czech officials seemed at a loss on how to deal with the dozens of relatives who descended on Prague to be near him, and there’s now some confusion over who will pay for his body to be returned to his homeland.
A young Romanian Roma boy who was seriously ill in hospital has died, a spokesperson for Prague’s Vinohrady Infirmary said on Monday. Around 50 of the 17-year-old’s relatives traveled from Romania to hold a vigil for him after he drowned when swimming outside of Prague two weeks ago. The boy was said to be the ‘prince’ of an extended Roma family, many members of which came to be by his bedside following the accident. His relatives were camping on private land near the River Vltava after moving out of a Prague campsite last week. Over the weekend, the municipality in which the Roma were camping – Husinec – called on the police to move the Roma on.
Police say they are not planning to heed a call from local officials in Husinec on the outskirts of Prague to evict a group of Romanian Romanies who have set up a makeshift camp there. The Romanies, who are keeping a vigil for a relative who is seriously ill in a Prague hospital, were previously camped elsewhere in the city and are now on private land with the permission of its owner. However, they have no running water or other basic facilities and the mayor of Husinec, Marie Těthalová, called on the police to expel the group by lunchtime on Sunday. She said there was no way the municipality would pay for mobile toilets or drinking water. The Romanian Romanies arrived in Prague over a week ago after a teenage relative they regard as a prince almost drowned in a lake in central Bohemia.
Local authorities in Husinec on the outskirts of Prague have asked the police to move on a group of Romanian Romanies who have made a makeshift camp there. The Romanies, who are keeping a vigil for a relative who is seriously ill in a Prague hospital, were previously camped elsewhere in the city and are now on private land with the permission of its owner. However, they have no running water or other basic facilities and the mayor of Husinec, Marie Těthalová, has called on the police to expel the group by lunchtime on Sunday. She said there was no way the municipality would pay for mobile toilets or drinking water. The Romanian Romanies arrived in Prague over a week ago after a teenage relative they regard as a prince almost drowned in a lake in central Bohemia.
Romanian Roma camping by a lakeside near Prague for the last week have moved to a tract of land offered them by a private owner. The invitation ends a rather tense dispute between the campers, of whom there were originally about 150, and the local municipal office, which has been protesting their stay in an area that is a natural reserve and their mistreatment of the grounds. The group, which now numbers 30, came to Prague from Romania one week ago to support a young relative they call their prince, who nearly drowned while swimming in the Czech Republic. The 17-year-old remains in hospital in critical condition.
The ministry of the interior is to introduce more police patrols in
“risk” areas following an increase in far-right extremism in the Czech
Republic. Interior Minister Martin Pecina made the announcement after talks
with President Václav Klaus on Wednesday. Over the last year far-right
groups have on a number of occasions marched on districts largely inhabited
by Roma, and the Czech government itself said a rise in extremism was
behind an increase in the number of Czech Roma applying for asylum in
Canada. That led Ottawa to introduce a visa requirement for Czech visitors
two weeks ago.
The interior ministry will also make a second attempt to have the far-right Workers’ Party banned; the last Czech government saw a similar bid rejected in March by the Supreme Administrative Court, which said it had put forward insufficient justification for the banning of the small group.
Some Romanian Roma remain at a makeshift campsite by a lake on the
outskirts of Prague, despite an agreement reached with local officials on
Tuesday night for them to vacate the site. However, most of the 150 or so
who were camped out there have moved on. The group began gathering in the
Czech capital last Friday when a Roma teenager regarded as a “prince”
was admitted to hospital after nearly drowning while swimming in a Czech
lake. Officials at Vinohradská hospital said he remained in a serious
Sociologists told the Czech News Agency that the Czech Republic did not offer suitable conditions for the nomadic lifestyle. Roma in this country have been settled since 1958, when the Communists barred them from travelling about.
Two weeks ago Ottawa imposed visa restrictions on Czechs after more than 1,700 Czech Roma, or gypsies, sought refugee status in Canada in the first six months of this year. That was a huge increase on the 650 or so in the whole of 2008, which was already a high figure. So, what led so many Czech Romanies to apply for asylum in Canada?
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