The UN Human Rights Commissioner has accused the Czech authorities of "systematic" rights violations in the treatment of refugees and migrants. Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein slammed the Czech Republic for holding migrants in "degrading" conditions for up to 90 days, strip searching them and making them pay for their detention. He likewise criticized the detention of children and said he was alarmed by “the xenophobic public debate” in the country including "Islamophobic" statements made by Czech President Milos Zeman.
Czech Airlines will scrap free lunches on its economy class flights as of December of this year, a spokesperson for the airlines said. The only exceptions will be on the company’s longest routes to Alma-Ata and Seoul. Refreshments in business class will be in the price of the ticket. Passengers on economy class flights will be able to order an Upgrade Menu for the price of 8 euros or a hot meal for 12 euros.
A Czech delegation led by the Deputy Speaker of the lower house of Parliament Petr Gazdik was detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport for over four hours on Thursday morning for no obvious reason, the ctk news agency reports. The delegation which arrived on a government plane and was not allowed to re-board the aircraft included defense ministry officials and members of the Czechoslovak Association of Legionaries. It was bound for Ulyanovsk where they were to unveil a memorial to Czechoslovak legionaries. Mr. Gazdik said they had been given no explanation for why they were being held up and described it as a serious diplomatic incident. The Czech embassy in Moscow has sent the Russian authorities a protest note. The delegation was allowed to continue on its way shortly after mid-day.
Prague City Hall is not in a position to cancel a long-standing disadvantageous contract on the management of the capital’s waterworks signed in the early 1990s, a spokeswoman for the town hall told the ctk news agency on Thursday. The contract with the firm is valid until 2028 and it would be extremely problematic and costly to back out of it, the spokeswoman said. Instead Prague City Hall will try to push for partial changes to the contract. The state of the city’s waterworks has been in the spotlight in connection with a growing number of accidents such as burst pipes and contaminated waste water leaking into drinking water pipes for households.
Osama Abdul Mohsen, a Syrian refugee who came to international attention after being tripped by a Hungarian camerawoman while holding his child, will be a guest at this year’s Jihlava international festival of documentary films, the organisers have announced. Mr. Mohsen, who is now a soccer trainer in Spain, will speak in the festival’s Inspiration Forum section. The opening film at this year’s Jihlava, the 19th edition, will be about the great Czech photographer Josef Koudelka. The event gets underway next Thursday.
GIBS, the Czech police’s internal affairs squad, have charged two people in an investigation into bribe-taking, bribery and leaking information from police files. One of the two is a police officer who worked as a department head, a spokesperson for the Prague state attorney’s office said. Prosecutors have rejected suggestions the move is retribution for a raid by the police’s organised crime unit in Olomouc last week. That operation led to the arrests of four people, including the regional governor and two senior police officers. The Olomouc branch of GIBS is accused of ignoring a tip-off about possible collusion between two of those charged.
The lower house of the Czech Parliament has approved the 2016 budget in the first reading. The bill sets next year’s deficit at CZK 70 billion, CZK 30 billion lower than this year’s. While Wednesday’s vote set the parameters for the budget, individual chapters can still be negotiated by lower house committees. A final vote will take place in December. The government expects this year’s deficit will be lower than it originally planned.
The Regional Court in Brno has overthrown fines totalling CZK 1.1 million levied on Prague and the city’s transport authority by the country’s competition regulator over the Opencard electronic ticketing system. The court has sent the matter back to the regulator, the Czech News Agency reported. It imposed the fines two years ago after ruling that Prague City Hall and the transport authority had breached procurement rules by signing contracts with Haguess, the company that manages the Opencard project. The Opencard system has been dogged by controversy since it was introduced.
The Beskid and Jeseníky mountains have this year been the most popular places for Czechs to holiday in their own country, according to Czech Television, which cited research conducted for CzechTourism by the Median agency. Czechs spend an average of CZK 14,000 per person when they take domestic vacations, the survey found. With regard to foreign holidays, Croatia has been the most popular destination for Czechs, followed by Italy, Slovakia and Austria.
Language exams for foreigners seeking permanent residency permit to become tougher
Czech teenager builds second-largest ever Millennium Falcon LEGO model
Gunman kills six patients in Ostrava hospital, two more fighting for their lives
Press: Era of 100-crown lunch special is over, as food prices rocket
HN: Developers aiming to sell co-living concept in Prague