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30.5.2016
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[ 16.05.2016 ] - Ruth Frankova

Minister for human rights and equal opportunities, Jiří Dienstbier, and Justice Minister Robert Pelikán on Friday attended a commemorative ceremony for the victims of the Romany Holocaust at the site of a former concentration camp in Lety in South Bohemia. More than 1,300 Romanies were held prisoners in the camp between 1942 and 1943. Over 300 of them died there while others were transported to Nazi extermination camps.
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[ 08.04.2016 ] - Jan Velinger

Lety memorial, photo: Jana Šustová Friday, April 8, is International Romani Day, celebrating Roma culture and raising awareness about Roma issues. This week, organisers behind the Sobě blíž (Closer Together) project for high school children – brought interested kids to Lety, South Bohemia, to see performances by Roma groups, but also to learn about a dark chapter in Czech history. Lety was the site of a Romany internment camp in WWII where more than 300 people died and many more were sent to the death camp Auschwitz.
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[ 16.03.2016 ] - Ruth Frankova

The number of hate crimes registered in the Czech Republic increased to 86 in 2014, the legal organisation In Iustitia, which is helping the crime victims, has reported. In 2011 the organisation registered 57 incidents. Most of the attacks happened in relation to nationality, ethnic origin or religion. Among the most frequent victims of hate attacks were Roma and Muslim men.
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[ 25.02.2016 ] - Ian Willoughby

The human rights organisation Amnesty International has highlighted the poor treatment of refugees in the Czech Republic and the high number of Romany children in "practical" schools (former special schools) in its annual report on the state of human rights around the world. The document refers to anti-migration rallies held in the country last year and the Czech Republic’s rejection of compulsory quotas of refugees imposed by the European Union. On the positive side, the report praises legal changes aimed at the integration of Romany children into mainstream schools and a court decision to recognise adoption by a male couple..
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[ 22.02.2016 ] - Ian Willoughby

A dentist has been ordered to apologise in writing to Roma family and pay them CZK 30,000 in compensation for refusing to treat them because of their skin colour, the news website Lidovky.cz reported on Sunday. Members of the family had set up an appointment with the Brno dentist by telephone but when they arrived at her surgery she refused to register them and denied having agreed to treat two of them, who had acute problems with their teeth. She had repeatedly denied discrimination before admitting to it in court, Lidovky.cz said..
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[ 08.02.2016 ] - Ian Willoughby

Tomáš Kratochvíl, photo: Ian Willoughby One of the most thought-provoking documentaries to hit local cinema screens in recent months has been Czechs Against Czechs by Tomáš Kratochvíl. In the highly personal film, the young director – a member of the majority population – goes to live in a desperately poor Romany ghetto in north Bohemia. Along the way, he also encounters far-right activists who organise anti-Roma demonstrations, as well as members of the public who don’t hide their hatred of the ethnic minority.
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[ 17.12.2015 ] - Ruth Frankova

The government Agency for Social Inclusion, which is aimed at helping integrate Roma and other deprived groups into mainstream society, has selected nine municipalities from socially excluded localities to cooperate with in the next three years. According to the agency’s spokesman, Václav Zeman, the agency will help the local authorities to systematically solve problems connected to social exclusion, such as increasing capacity of asylum facilities, or raising the number of assistants helping to prevent crime. The agency will also help the municipalities in reaching EU funds for social inclusion..
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[ 15.12.2015 ] - Jan Velinger

Two suspects found guilty of firebombing a boarding house in Aš inhabited mostly by Romanies more than three years ago have received sentences of almost seven years in prison each. Twenty-five-year-old Tomáš Kopecký and 35-year-old Michal Poláček were found guilty of attempted murder and the court ruled that the attack had been racially-motivated. Each could have received 20 years behind bars.
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