Meanwhile, the organised crime department of the Czech Police is carrying out another series of raids against right-wing extremists in various parts of the country. According to the website tyden.cz, a number of people have been arrested in Prague and Brno. The police have declined to comment until the operation is complete. In the last extensive operation, in October of last year, a nationwide series of house searches resulted in the arrest of 24 individuals, 18 of whom were subsequently charged with subversion of human rights.
Romany children in the Czech Republic still face unequal access to education, says Amnesty International in a report which has just been released. Two years after the European Court of Human Rights ruled that placing Romany children in “special schools” was unlawful discrimination, Amnesty International went back to Ostrava where the court case was originally filed to see what had changed. While the Czech government has taken certain anti-discriminatory measures, the practice remains more or less the same, says Fotis Filippou, one of the authors
On the agenda of the Supreme Administrative Court on Monday is a much-discussed case that has been long in the making: a governmental proposal to dissolve the far-right Workers’ Party. Different governments have asserted that the party is a political wing of the neo-Nazi movement, however a previous attempt to ban the party outright in early 2009 was dismissed for lack of evidence. This time around the Ministry of the Interior is sparing no punches.
On Thursday, the High Court in Prague awarded compensation to two women, one of them a Romany sterilized without her knowledge in 2003, the other a non-Romany whose fallopian tubes were removed without her consent in 2006. The ruling confirmed a previous verdict – the first of its kind – and raised the amount originally awarded. Gwendolyn Albert, a human rights activist and expert on the issue, discusses the verdict.
As of this year, Czech teachers and ministry officials should only use politically correct language. The Ministry of Education has sent out a language guide to all of the Czech Republic’s schools and ministries, giving advice on how to avoid sexist language and how to speak correctly in terms of gender. I spoke to Pavla Paclíková, one of the authors of the guide, who says Czech is still full of politically incorrect language.
The former leader of the Ku Klux Klan David Duke is planning another visit to the Czech Republic. On his last visit in April of this year, Mr. Duke was arrested and deported just a few hours after his arrival. The police charged the white supremacist with propagating the suppression of human rights. He had been invited to hold a public speech in Prague by Filip Vávra, a member of the National Resistance group, who is also behind the latest invitation. Mr. Duke is set to arrive in the Czech Republic in late January. The precise date has not been made public. Mr. Vávra told journalists that the reason Mr. Duke wanted to return to the Czech Republic was to get a satisfactory explanation from the Czech state regarding his arrest and deportation, which he says was not based on evidence. Police have announced that once Mr. Duke arrives, they will be monitoring him closely.
Eighteen-year-old student Nguyen Mai Anh was voted Miss Vietnam Czech Republic in Prague on Tuesday. Mrs. Main Anh and four other finalists will represent the Czech Republic at the Miss Vietnam European Union contest that will take place in Germany in January. Mr. Mai Anh, who received a money price along with the title and crown, told journalists that her success in the competition would give her an opportunity to visit Vietnam. Fourteen girls participated in the competition, which is said to be a stepping stone to a modeling career for women of Vietnamese descent.
The cabinet on Monday unanimously approved a government strategy for Romany integration in the period between 2010 and 2013. The concept was put forward by the Minister for Human Rights and Minorities Michael Kocab and contains guidelines for local administration authorities. The main focus is on creating equal work and education opportunities for the Romany minority and preventing their ghettoization.
Record cold temperatures in the Czech Republic have taken a severe toll, with nine deaths from exposure recorded by the end of the weekend. Most of those who died were homeless, among them three people in Prague and four in Ostrava. Michael Raymond Stannett is the head of the Salvation Army in the Czech Republic; he described the situation on the ground.