Unusually cold weather has claimed 13 lives in Prague since October – 11 of them in December alone. A combination of hypothermia and alcohol played a role. With severe conditions expected to continue, the question now is how quickly help for the city’s homeless can be provided to try and stop what should be preventable deaths.
Cold weather may have claimed its 13th victim in Prague this winter, the Czech News Agency reported. The body of a man was found in Prague 10 on Sunday morning, and a spokesperson for the city’s rescue services said hypothermia was one possible cause of death. If that is confirmed, the cold will have killed 11 people in the capital since the start of this month alone.
Cold weather has evidently claimed its 12th victim in Prague this winter, the Czech News Agency reported. The body of a 48-year-old man who was believed to be homeless was found in a car on Vítězné náměstí square in the Dejvice district on Saturday, a police spokesperson said. The rescue services said a post mortem would determine whether he had frozen to death. The cold has killed 10 people in the capital since the start of December alone.
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.
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