A Brno court has sentenced six members of the far-right Workers’ Party of Social Justice for committing acts of hate speech at a May 1 gathering in the city a year ago. Party leader Tomáš Vandas received a suspended sentence and a fine of 25,000 crowns, while five other party members got similar punishments. Mr. Vandas, who is the election leader of the Workers’ Party for Social Justice, was formerly the head of the far-right Workers’ Party. That party was banned by the Czech Constitutional Court in February.
In this week’s Spotlight we focus on a small exhibition at the City of Prague museum which aims to cast some light on the centuries old links between Czechs and Vietnamese and the culture of the large Vietnamese community in the capital. The exhibition "Vietnam in Prague" is running at the City of Prague museum until mid-September. Organisers say the number of visits has already exceeded their expectations.
Speakers at a commemorative meeting at the site of a former World War II
ghetto at Terezín in central Bohemia have warned of a rise in neo-Nazism
and racism in the Czech Republic. The director of the Terezín Memorial,
Jan Munk, said that today the victims were Romanies; next will be Jews,
then other people. He said as a Jew and a citizen he felt threatened by
neo-Nazism, and called on state bodies to take greater action against the
danger. Some of Prime Minister Jan Fischer’s own family members were
killed after being interned at Terezín. He said at Sunday’s ceremony
that he had been disappointed by the results of a mock election held in
Czech schools which suggested over 7 percent of 15- to 19-year-olds would
support the far-right Workers’ Party of Social Justice. Mr Fischer said
the area of values was being emptied out in Europe, thanks to an
over-emphasis on so-called real politics; this area was being left to
who are against freedom and democracy, he said.
Around 144,000 Jews were sent to Terezín (Theresienstadt) by the Nazis during the war. Fewer than 17,300 survived. Around 1,000 people attended Sunday’s commemorative meeting, which was the 64th.
A Vietnamese man committed suicide after killing a compatriot in the north-western town of Kadaň on Saturday morning. The killer also attacked and severely injured a Vietnamese woman, police said. The incident took place in a shop rented by the two victims. After carrying out the attack the man set himself on fire and stabbed himself, dying of his injuries. Police said they were trying to establish a motive for the crime.
Czech Radio opened its doors to the general public on Saturday for its annual open day. Visitors enjoyed a rare opportunity to see the station’s studio building on Římská St, as well as the adjoining historic Czech Radio building on Vinohradská St, which has mostly been reopened after an extensive renovation job. The open day was part of a Celebration of Prague day organised by the city authorities.
The trial has begun of four men accused of a firebomb attack on a Romany
family’s home that left a small child fighting for her life. The four
accused of throwing three petrol bombs into the house in the north
town of Vítkov in April last year. Many people in the Czech Republic were
shocked by the attack, which left Natálka Siváková, who is now three,
with burns on 80 percent of her body. Her parents were also injured.
The accused, believed to be neo-Nazis, could face 15 years or more in jail if found guilty of multiple charges of attempted racially motivated murder. The trial is expected to last for up to one month.
The trial of four defendants accused of racially-motivated attempted murder in an attack on a Romany family last year began under tight security on Tuesday in the city of Ostrava. Last year on the night of April 19th they are suspected of having firebombed the family’s residence, using Molotov cocktails. Three people were injured, including a toddler who suffered severe burns and barely survived. If found guilty, the four accused could face up to 15 years in prison or even receive exemplary sentences of life behind bars.
Activities of right-wing extremists have dropped in the first three months of this year, according to a report by the Czech intelligence service, or BIS, released on Thursday. While the decrease is attributed to the ban of the far-right Workers’ Party, authorities says better police work has also curbed extremism-related crime.
Around 100 members of the far-right Workers’ Party of Social Justice, which evolved from the banned Workers’ Party, gathered at Prague’s náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad square on Saturday. They dispersed after half an hour after organisers abandoned the idea of going on a march. Meanwhile, an estimated 200 anarchists congregated in the downtown area before moving on to one of the islands on the River Vltava. Police said they had withdrawn extra officers that had been drafted in when the gatherings, which they had assessed as potential flashpoints, passed off peacefully.
The number of people charged with extremist activities in the Czech Republic was 50 percent higher 2009 than in the previous year, according to a report Interior Minister Martin Pecina presented to the government on Monday. However, the number of recorded extremist crimes fell by about a fifth last year in comparison with 2008. Some 256 extremist crimes were recorded in 2009, representing 0.07 percent of all crimes dealt with by the Czech police. Most of those charged were aged between 21 and 39. The report found that more secondary school and third level graduates had faced charges, though it said the increase could not be regarded as a trend.
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