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2.9.2014
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[ 30.08.2014 ] - David Vaughan

In a recent edition of Czech Books, we spoke to the Romany writer, Irena Eliášová. She mentioned that her novel, November, had been published earlier this year by an internet publisher. This inspired David Vaughan to find out more about Romany writing in the digital age, and he discovered that Czech Roma have embraced the social media in a big way.
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[ 18.08.2014 ] - Ian Willoughby

Lucie Rybová, foto: Ian Willoughby Along with Charter 77 and the Committee for the Defence of the Unjustly Persecuted, the Czechoslovak Helsinki Committee was a key dissident organisation in the communist period, pressuring the government to adhere to its human rights commitments. Today known as the Czech Helsinki Committee, it is still active, advocating for people who often have nowhere else to turn. I discussed the committee’s work with its director, Lucie Rybová. But I first asked her about the reasons for its establishment, in November 1988.
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[ 18.08.2014 ] - Dominik Jůn

The first year of a new Roma-themed film festival is to kick-off at the end of September, reports Denik.cz. The festival, entitled Čačikano, will take place at the Světozor cinema in central Prague. According to festival organiser Alžběta Jílková, the event is designed to highlight the richness of Roma culture and also overturn prevalent stereotypes..
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[ 06.08.2014 ] - Ian Willoughby

A former MP has received a suspended sentence for hate speech after making racist comments about the Roma minority on Facebook. Otto Chaloupka, who was elected on the ticket of Public Affairs, has appealed the verdict. In connection with racial tensions arising from an incident in which a group of Romanies beat up a couple, the erstwhile politician wrote that things would kick off if there were any more such Gypsy provocations; then not even riot police would be able to protect them.
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[ 04.08.2014 ] - Chris Johnstone

Minister of Culture Daniel Herman led a commemoration on Friday at the site of the World War Two Lety internment camp for Roma which was created in July 1942. Herman recalled that the labour and internment camp for the Roma population from Bohemia camp was run by Czech officials from the Protectorate police force and that their brutality was equal to anything carried out by the Germans. Most of those who died at the camp were children.
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[ 01.08.2014 ] - Press release

Auschwitz-Birkenau (Photo: 2august.eu) On the 70th anniversary of the Roma Holocaust -'Porrajmos' or 'Pharrajimos'- two United Nations human rights experts urge all governments around the world to ensure the right to remembrance for the Roma people.
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[ 01.08.2014 ] - Ian Willoughby

Photo: Czech Government Plans are afoot to compensate thousands of Czech women, many from the Roma minority, sterilised against their will between the early 1970s and the early 1990s. Lidové noviny reported on Friday that victims could receive up to CZK 150,000 each under legislation being prepared by the human rights minister and an NGO, the Czech Helsinki Committee. I asked the latter’s director Lucie Rybová how many victims were likely to benefit from the scheme, if it is approved.
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[ 31.07.2014 ] - Jan Richter

The Czech Republic’s new Romany elite is rising due to increasing numbers of Romanies with university degrees, the news website idnes.cz reported on Sunday. While only around 100 of the country’s 250,000-strong Romany community are currently studying at Czech universities, the number of those receiving some type of scholarships has tripled over the last nine years, from 59 to 151, according to figures by Romea, an advocacy group. Romany leaders quoted in the report say the rising number of university students has a big impact both on the Romany community and the majority society but note their overall number is still very small..
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