Search
24.10.2020
NEWS

HISTORY

TRADITIONS, CULTURE

PERSONALITIES

USEFUL CONTACTS

PHOTOS OF THE ROMA

VARIOUS

RADIO PRAGUE










Česky English Deutsch Francais
Romanies calling on government for protection in the wake of vicious arson attack
21-04-2009 - Daniela Lazarova
Saturday’s vicious attack on a Romany family in Vitkov, north Moravia, remains at the centre of public and media attention. Although a racial motif has not been officially confirmed, Romanies in the region say they fear for their lives and many have criticized the government for allegedly doing next to nothing to protect the country’s minorities from growing extremism

Photo: CTK Two-year-old Natálka remains in critical condition in an Ostrava hospital where her parents are also recovering from serious burns. Of the eight member household they alone failed to get out in time, after attackers threw petrol bombs through the windows of their house in the middle of the night. Although their relatives tried to put the fire out, someone had shut off their water supply. The horror of this story has shocked the nation and the emerging facts have increased suspicions of a racially-motivated attack. Kumar Vishwanathan, a social worker active in the region, says the mood among the local Roma is a mixture of fear and anger.

“I think people are very disturbed, people are extremely concerned about what is happening. There is a feeling among the Roma community that they have no support here, no friendly face in the government, that there is no concern on the part of the government regarding their fate. That is a big problem. People are thinking of different options, some are thinking of leaving the country, some are thinking about creating self-help vigilante groups to protect their children on their way to school and others yet are calling for tit-for-tat actions. The response is very diverse, but in general people are extremely, extremely disturbed.”

Many Roma families in town have not sent their children to school since the incident and some are considering putting iron bars across their windows. Some Romany organizations are advising Roma people to sell their houses and flee the Czech Republic, others are calling on the government to stand up to growing neo-Nazism and extremism and are collecting signatures under a petition titled “Enough!”. Never has pressure on the administration been so strong. This, just days after Canada complained about the growing number of Romany asylum seekers from the Czech Republic, saying it was now taking in more refugees from the Czech Republic than from Iran or Afghanistan. The outgoing Czech government met to map out a possible course of action on Monday, with Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek saying he wanted a combination of repressive and preventative measures. The new strategy is to be unveiled in a fortnight’s time and while there is general approval for measures to fight extremism, there are many who remain skeptical regarding the chances of a significant improvement in the near future. Those packing their bags say they’ll wait to see it from a distance.



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