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October 8th, 1998
A court in the South Bohemian town of Pisek passed jail sentences on Thursday to three skinheads convicted of causing the drowning death three five years ago of the Roma teenager Tibor Danihel.The defendants were sent to jail for between eight and a half and seven years.

Tibor Danihel, who could not swim, was driven into a cold river in an incident in which a group of skinheads rounded up Romany youths on a river island not far from the centre of Pisek in September 1993.

Resulting from the large number of Romas who have been leaving Slovakia to seek asylum in Britain, Slovak citizens will be needing visas, Britain announced on wednesday. Czech citizens should have nothing to worry about, it added since the number of Czech immigrants has not been that high.

An official announcement and explanation of the visa regulation which came into effect at one minute past midnight, British time, on Thursday morning, was made during a press conference at the British Embassy in Prague. Cesky Rozhlas was there, and this is what was said:

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But there are some Roma representatives who believe that this development clearly proves that Roma are subjected to racism and discrimination. A visa introduction is a punishment to all Slovaks and not just to Roma so it could be an indirect message saying "stop discriminating and we will withdraw the visa requiry".

During an interview with Mr. Roman Kristov, the office manager of the Helsinki Citizen's Assembly, he gave us an insight of his opinion on this development:

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Britain itself is so overwhelmed by the suddenly increased number of asylum-seekers that it has to set up special forces who would be in charge of identifying suspicious people to avoid the evasion of immigration control. In August alone, the number of asylum applicants from Slovakia came to 846. In September 701 more Slovaks applied. These are numbers that Britain used to be faced with for the period of a whole year, now they come in monthly.

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