The regional court in Ostrava has handed suspended sentences to a teenage
boy and his mother over a petrol bomb attack on a Romany family’s home in
the Bedriška area of the city. The youth was found guilty of throwing the
missile, while the court said the mother was guilty of failing to prevent
him from doing so. Police were unable to prove a racial motive for the
attack, while a judge said intent to kill had not been proven, only intent
to start a fire. Nobody was injured in the incident, which took place in
In October four neo-Nazis got long jail terms for fire-bombing a house occupied by a Romany family in Vítkov, which is also in north Moravia, last year. A small child was severely burned in the attack and will suffer the physical and mental effects for the rest of her life.
A poll just out suggests that 10 percent of Czechs sympathize with ultra-right parties and movements. The survey conducted by the STEM polling agency indicates that six percent of Czechs are willing to actively support the far-right by taking part in meetings and rallies. Another two percent of respondents said that while they would not want to get publicly involved they sympathize with ultra-right ideas and would support such a party in elections. A further two percent said they would not support the ultra right but understood their arguments. Seventy percent of respondents said they sympathized with some aspects of the ultra-right, while a mere twenty percent said they were revolted by the philosophy.
The European Union’s human rights agency has accused the Czech authorities of homophobia over a test for refugees who claim asylum on the grounds they face persecution in their own country for being homosexual, the Czech News Agency reported on Wednesday. The EU says the test – which involves measuring blood flow in the penis during sexual arousal – breaches its charter banning torture and humiliating treatment. The Czech ministry of the interior confirmed it does use so-called phallometry testing, if officials believe asylum applicants have given inconsistent testimonies during interviews. It said the tests had been carried out with the consent of asylum seekers.
The extreme cold, in all likelihood, took the life a homeless man early on Saturday morning: he was found dead near a supermarket in Prague 8. The man was around 50 years of age. An autopsy will be needed to determine the exact cause of death. A day earlier in Prague a man of around 42 died at a metro entrance in Zličín. Alcohol consumption, together with the freezing conditions, were the key factors.
The bout of freezing cold weather this week claimed two lives in the Czech Republic, both of them homeless people in Prague. Altogether six homeless people have frozen to death in the big cities since the onset of winter. In view of the sub-zero temperatures over the weekend police officers have been ordered to make frequent rounds of the usual sites where homeless people gather and take them to shelters.
A regional court in the northern city of Ústí nad Labem on Thursday gave a maximum 10 year jail sentence to a Roma youth who brutally assaulted a 12-year-old boy last year. The court upheld nearly all the charges against the 16-year-old accused, including sexual abuse, robbery, blackmail and attempted murder together with his partner in the attack. He was not charged because he was 15 years old at the time. The judge also described the attack as racist. The court heard that during the attack the youth said he would inflict the same treatment as Hitler had done to the Roma population. The court was told that the victim of the attack was given intensive care in hospital and still suffers psychological scars and has to take anti-depressants.
In the course of the two-day summit Prime Minister Nečas met for talks with his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper in an effort to get Canada to review its visa policy towards Czech citizens. Canada re-imposed visas on Czech nationals in July of 2009 in the wake of a stream of asylum seekers from the Czech Republic. Ottawa is now in the process of introducing a less benevolent asylum law and Mr. Nečas said he had failed to get assurances that the visa question would be reviewed before such a law was in place.
Language exams for foreigners seeking permanent residency permit to become tougher
Gunman kills six patients in Ostrava hospital, two more fighting for their lives
Czech teenager builds second-largest ever Millennium Falcon LEGO model
Press: Era of 100-crown lunch special is over, as food prices rocket
Misha Glenny: Organised crime is an important part of Czech economy – and corruption is its twin sibling