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22.12.2014
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[ 11.12.2014 ] - Jan Richter

The Czech government sometimes struggles to adopt measures aimed at protecting human rights in the country, Human Rights Minister Jiří Dienstbier told reporters on Wednesday, on the occasion of International Human Rights Day. The Czech Republic faces EU sanctions over failing to integrate Romany children into mainstream schools; Mr Dienstbier said the situation should improve after existing education legislation is amended. The government has also rejected plans to introduce legislation mandating female quota in corporate boardrooms.. .
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[ 05.12.2014 ] - Jan Velinger

Six individuals charged with hooliganism and causing bodily harm which sparked unrest in the Máj housing district in České Budějovice in the summer of 2013 have received suspended sentences ranging between 1 and 2.5 years. According to iDnes, criminal charges against two suspects were dropped and their actions will be assessed as misdemeanors by city hall. Of those found guilty, four have accepted the sentences while two appealed. Unrest in the area was originally sparked by two children pushing and shoving at a playground, two women then got into a verbal and physical fight.
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[ 25.11.2014 ] - Daniela Lazarova

Jiří Pehe, photo: Šárka Ševčíková The situation in Duchcov, north Bohemia, where the Social Democrats have entered into a coalition with the ultra-right Workers Social Justice Party and the Communists and its possible implications for the Social Democratic Party have become a hotly debated topic both in political circles and the media. Party leader Bohuslav Sobotka has expressed grave concern regarding the latest developments which he described as “wholly unacceptable” and has made it clear he would fight to have the local branch of the Social Democratic Party scrapped.
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[ 25.11.2014 ] - Daniela Lazarova

Anti-Romany demonstration in Duchcov in 2013, photo: Gabriela Hauptvogelová A rift has developed within the Social Democratic Party over the decision of the local party organization in the north Bohemian town of Duchcov to enter into a coalition with the ultra-right Workers Social Justice Party whose members have in the past organized anti-Romany demonstrations in the town. The party’s national leadership has distanced itself from the coalition and called for the local party organization to be scrapped, but the party’s regional leadership has surprisingly refused to comply, arguing that the coalition is perfectly legitimate.
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[ 23.11.2014 ] - Daniela Lazarova

Ida Kelarová, photo: archive of Radio Prague Singer Ida Kelarová is a singer, musician and choirmaster who performs some of the best Romany music to come out of the Czech Republic. But, ironically it was many years before she learnt of her Romany origin and was able to fully connect with her legacy.
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[ 22.11.2014 ] - David Vaughan

Irena Eliášová, photo: David Vaughan The poet, playwright and novelist Irena Eliášová spent her early childhood in a Romany village in south-western Slovakia. The memory of this time has become the defining experience in her writing. But Irena does not write just about the lost world of her childhood in the 1950s and 60s. She has also written powerfully and poignantly about the life of Roma in the Czech Republic today. Yet even when she writes about the present, her work is permeated with a sense of family and community that also draws us back to an older world of Roma tradition. David Vaughan meets one of the Czech Republic’s foremost Romany writers.
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[ 13.11.2014 ] - Daniela Lazarova

A number of NGOs active in the field of human rights and minorities have issued a joint declaration which points to what they call persisting discrimination of Romany children in the Czech education system. The declaration, initiated by the Open Society Fund Prague, was released on the seventh anniversary of a verdict by the European Court of Human Rights which ruled in favour of a group of Czech Romanies who claimed their children were discriminated against by the state because they had automatically been placed in special schools. The NGOs, among them Amnesty International, the League of Human Rights, IQ Roma and Coexistence, point out that seven years after this verdict was passed Romany children make up a third of all pupils at schools for children with special needs..
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Čhavorenge, photo: archive of Miret Singer Ida Kelarová gets her Romany children’s choir to the most prestigious concert venue in the country –Prague’s famous Rudolfinum where they will perform with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra on the 25th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution.
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