Czech Republic: No to racist attacks

The Czech authorities must put an immediate end to the increasing verbal and physical attacks against the Roma community by far right groups and prosecute those breaching the law, Amnesty International said today.

At a rally in the town of Litvinov on 17 November, demonstrators linked to the far right Czech Workers Party chanted anti-Roma slogans. News reports said that after the rally they tried to reach the mainly Roma neighbourhood of the town armed with stones, firecrackers and petrol bombs with the intention of attacking the Roma community. About 500 demonstrators clashed with police who tried to prevent the attacks against the Roma community. Reportedly, up to 12 persons were arrested.

According to reports the Czech Workers Party had previously tried to organize a similar demonstration against the Romani community in Litvínov, on 18 October, but it was banned by the town’s mayor.

“Hate speech and racist attacks are unacceptable and illegal. Czech politicians and the government must strongly condemn such behaviour against any section of Czech society,” said David Diaz-Jogeix, Europe and Central Asia Deputy Programme Director at Amnesty International.