Search
24.10.2020
NEWS

HISTORY

TRADITIONS, CULTURE

PERSONALITIES

USEFUL CONTACTS

PHOTOS OF THE ROMA

VARIOUS

RADIO PRAGUE










Česky English Deutsch Francais
Senator in hot water after secret recording captures racist remarks
11-07-2007 - Rob Cameron
A popular senator and local mayor from the north Moravian city of Ostrava is fighting accusations of racism, following the release on Tuesday of a recording of a local housing committee meeting. Senator Liana Janackova is apparently heard making derogatory and threatening remarks about Romanies in her ward, remarks which she says have been taken out of context.

Liana Janackova Liana Janackova is no stranger to controversy. In 1997, as hundreds of Ostrava Romanies began emigrating to Canada, she offered to pay for their plane tickets on condition they gave up their right to council housing. Now she's back in the news, thanks to a secret recording of a meeting with local residents about a controversial Romany settlement called Bedriska.

"I'll tell you this - I don't agree with any kind of integration. Unfortunately, I'm a racist. I don't believe in integrating gypsies so that they'd be living throughout the district. Unfortunately we chose Bedriska, so that's where they'll be, surrounded by a high fence, an electric fence if you like, and I'll happily shout that out to the whole world."

At first Senator Janackova, who is not a member of any political party, denied outright making the remarks. She later admitted at least some of the words on the 42-minute recording could have been hers, but explained to Czech Television that she was posing rhetorical questions during what was a heated debate.

"I never said seriously that I'm a racist. And if I did use such words, well it was more like - so what am I supposed to do with them? Round them up and stick them behind a high fence?"

The recording also contains what sounds like Mrs Janackova saying one alternative to the housing problem would be to blow up the Romanies with dynamite. A man identified as the deputy mayor is then heard asking whether someone would give him permission to shoot them.

Kumar Vishwanathan The recording is almost a year old, and only came to the attention of the media thanks to Radomir Michniak, Mrs Janackova's predecessor as mayor of Ostrava's Marianske Hory and Hulvaky district. She says her rival has deliberately released the material in a bid to discredit her. But for Ostrava community worker Kumar Vishwanathan, local political feuds are irrelevant.

"We are still just one generation away from the horrors of the 30s and the 40s. So we're living in the shadow of a very dangerous historical experience. And if a responsible, respected senator and a mayor of a town says these things, even if it was a joke, I think the person should bear responsibility for these words. It just strengthens a climate and a feeling of just what is still possible in this part of the world."

Mrs Janackova is a member of the Senate's human rights committee. On Tuesday Mr Vishwanathan submitted the recording to the chairman of the committee, demanding an explanation. According to the latest Czech media reports, the committee has voted not to investigate the affair.



Related articles
DateTitleFeature
06.06.2018Study indicates ethnic hate is contagiousNews
01.08.2017Romany rapper Radek Banga to receive František Kriegel Award for civic courageNews
08.12.2016Project aimed at fighting hate crime acquires fresh urgency in light of migrant crisisNews
14.11.2016Romany soccer team face hatred more or less all the time, says FC Roma co-director Tomáš BojarNews
08.02.2016Far-right focus on migrants taking heat of Roma at least for now, says Czechs Against Czechs maker Tomáš KratochvílNews
08.09.2014Lukáš Houdek, a photographer, writer and curator tackling prejudices head-onNews
12.09.2013Brochures for schools to help combat racial prejudice and extremismNews
23.08.2013Extremists relying increasingly on internet to whip up anti-Roma sentimentsNews
31.07.2013Mainstream antipathy to Roma bigger threat than far right, warms Czech intelligenceNews
All related articles
Article
Format for printing
Send as e-mail

Also in section "News"
31.10.19  Roma children’s choir Chavorenge and members of the Czech Philharmonic to perform in UK
13.09.19  Archaeologists discover graves of Roma persecuted during WWII in Lety camp
02.06.19  Ida Kelarová and her Romany children’s choir Chavorenge
29.05.19  Two Roma activists to receive Charter 77’s František Kriegel Award
07.04.19  Romany music from the Czech Republic
13.03.19  Czech singer Věra Bílá, dubbed the Ella Fitzgerald of Gypsy music, dies days before her comeback tour
21.11.18  Roma social worker from Ostrava listed on BBC 100 Women list
12.10.18  Why are there so few Roma politicians?
17.09.18  Virtuoso pianist Tomáš Kačo: When I tell somebody I’m a Gypsy in the US, they’re excited about it
06.06.18  Study indicates ethnic hate is contagious
Archive of the section

Most popular articles
3153053   26.02.00 Some Basic Information about the Roma Population in the Czech Republic
290319   27.01.05 The 'Devouring': A look at the Romani Holocaust
184516   26.02.00 The History and Origin of the Roma
141463   26.02.02 The Language of the Roma
107706   13.06.00 The History of the Roma Minority in the Czech Republic
105260   26.02.00 The Traditional Family Life of the Czech Roma
103929   02.06.03 The Roma Holocaust
88238    World famous Roma Personalities
88174   21.02.04 Extreme right activists demonstrate for skinhead in jail
74801    Photographs by Romani Children
Copyright © Český rozhlas / Czech Radio, 1997-2020
Vinohradská 12, 120 99 Praha 2, Czech Republic
E-mail: info@romove.cz