Archive: Society | Minorities Minorities

The black experience in the Czech Republic

24-03-2012 02:01 | Sarah Borufka

In the past 20 years, the number of foreigners living in the Czech Republic has increased dramatically as a consequence of the opening of the Iron Curtain. Still, the country is far from being as diverse as most other European nations, for example France or Germany, and the vast majority of the Czech population remains Caucasian. During communism, the few black people who lived here stuck out like a sore thumb. Nowadays, their number has of course increased, but the size of the black community is still quite small.  More

Concert, screening at Prague’s Lucerna to mark day against racism

21-03-2012 16:52 | Jan Velinger, Magdalena Hrozínková

March 21st is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and to mark the occasion organisers from Opona, a non-profit NGO, have helped put together an exhibition, screening and concert to take place on Wednesday afternoon and evening at Prague’s Lucerna. Several notable Czech artists, including Ester Kočičková Xindl X, and the Tap Tap are taking part.  More

Study warns of possible new attacks against Roma as neo-Nazi movement gains traction

07-03-2012 16:11 | Jan Velinger

A new study commissioned by the Interior Ministry has suggested that the neo-Nazi movement in the Czech Republic (estimated as 4,000 strong with 400 hardcore members) is successfully pushing an agenda of hatred and racism in troubled parts of the country. As it stands, the last decade or so saw a number of arson attacks against ethnic Roma families including a highly-publicised case where a toddler barely survived and was left with lifelong disabilities. According to the latest report, unless more comprehensive measures are taken soon, racially-motivated attacks spurred by the neo-Nazi movement, may increase.  More

Hana Kulhánková – the director of the One World International Human Rights Film Festival

27-02-2012 16:44 | Sarah Borufka

Hana Kulhánková Film has played an important role in Hana Kulhanková’s life ever since she was a teenager. Later, she studied film and worked at the Mezipatra Queer Film Festival, which showcases gay and lesbian filmmakers. Now, Hana Kulhánková is the director of one of Prague’s most colorful and interesting film festivals, One World, which focuses on human rights documentaries. Ahead of the start of this year’s edition, I spoke to her about the festival program, human rights and what initially piqued her interest in film.  More

Varnsdorf, a north Bohemian town in the path of Buddha

25-02-2012 02:01 | Jan Richter

Varnsdorf A town surrounded by deep pine forests, dotted with old timbered German-style villas and occasional Communist-era prefab houses, a town boasting many parks, a river, two churches – and the country’s first Buddhist temple. This is Varnsdorf, a town of 16,000 in the northernmost part of the Czech Republic.  More

Police crack down on women’s branch of Czech neo-Nazi movement

14-02-2012 16:09 | Daniela Lazarová

Illustrative photo: Filip Jandourek The Czech police have cracked down on a group called Resistance Women Unity, a women´s branch of the Czech neo-Nazi movement National Resistance. Fifteen women were arrested and charged with promoting and supporting a movement aimed at suppressing human rights and freedoms. I spoke to Miroslav Mareš of Masaryk University in Brno, one of the Czech Republic’s leading experts on far-right extremism, to find out more about the role of women in neo-Nazi groups in the present day Czech Republic.  More

Roma kids from special schools put Czech education system to shame in Great Britain

13-02-2012 16:17 | Daniela Lazarová

Thousands of teachers around the country are up in arms. They are unhappy about the government’s plans to gradually phase out special schools – or schools for children with a mental or physical handicap – and integrate as many of these children as possible into the education mainstream.  More

Icy temperatures pose threat to Prague homeless, Czech capital opens tent shelter

01-02-2012 16:31 | Sarah Borufka

Photo: CTK With temperatures in Prague expected to drop as low as minus 20 degrees in the coming days, the Czech capital’s homeless are at high risk. Due to the harsh weather, homeless shelters are already close to operating at full capacity. To help battle deaths from exposure city hall officials have arranged for a large heated tent to be put up for those with no roof over their heads.  More

Prosecutors rule out murder in north Bohemian shooting

13-01-2012 15:48 | Jan Richter

Photo: CTK Prosecutors investigating a New Year’s Day shooting in the north Bohemian town of Tanvald, which left a Romany man dead and injured another, have ruled out murder or any other premeditated crime. The investigators on Friday said the 63-year-old shooter was facing an intense assault by two Romany men in a conflict that had no racial or material motives.  More

Extremist lawyer claims judicial expert biased because of Jewish background

11-01-2012 15:36 | Jan Velinger

Michal Mazel Michal Mazel, a highly-respected judicial expert on extremism in the Czech Republic (whose testimony was crucial in such cases as the Vítkov arson attack and the dissolution of the rightwing Workers’ Party), has resigned after an objection was filed against his assessment in a current case. Lawyer Petr Kočí filed the objection on behalf of his client, a member of the extremist Workers’ Party for Social Justice, charged with inciting ethnic hatred, that Mr Mazel is biased because of his Jewish background. For the judicial expert the objection was the last straw; the move also shocked others, fuelling calls for the lawyer to be disbarred.  More

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