The Czech Interior Ministry has granted asylum to eight Chinese Christians seeking protection in the country on the grounds of religious persecution. The requests of seventy other applicants were rejected. A lawyer representing the group of Chinese Christians has said she will advise them to appeal the decision.
For nearly 20 years, the Multicultural Centre Prague has been involved in promoting human rights and respect for cultural diversity. Their activities and projects focus on the social and economic advancement of migrants in the Czech Republic or inclusion of socially disadvantaged minorities. I met with the centre’s director Zuzana Schreiberová to discuss some of their activities, including a project called Prague Shared and Divided or the recently published Prague-Warsaw newspaper:
The Czech ombudsman has taken up the case of dozens Chinese Christians who lodged asylum requests in the country on the grounds that they fear persecution at home. Examination of the cases appear to be taking a very long time and the watchdog says it has so far received no replies so far to its request for explanations from the Ministry of Interior.
The European Commission has announced it is suing the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary in the bloc’s top court for their refusal to take in asylum seekers in line with the Commission’s mandatory re-distribution mechanism. Prague says it will not change its stand and warns that a court case will only further undermine public trust in EU institutions.
A strict new foreigners’ law went into effect in August of this year despite protests from human rights organizations, NGOs working with migrants and the Czech Chamber of Commerce who all argue that it is extremely unfriendly to foreigners from non-EU member states. Now a Czech senator has decided to challenge the law in the Constitutional Court on the argument that it violates the country’s international commitments as well as its own constitution.