According to new figures released by the National Security Council of the Czech Republic, more than 392,000 foreigners legally came to live and work in the Czech Republic in 2007, a 22% increase on the previous year’s figures. But what are the implications of this increasing trend of immigration into the country? I spoke with Marie Jelínková of the Prague Multicultural Centre for her insight and began by asking her to explain why the Czech Republic was an increasingly attractive location for migrants.
The government's Council for Equal Opportunities will recommend to the government the drafting of a bill which would make stalking in the Czech Republic a criminal offence; the announcement was made by the Minister for Human Rights and Minorities Džamila Stehlíková on Friday. Stalking often plays a role in domestic violence cases, in which former spouses are targeted. Currently, it is prosecuted as a crime in several EU countries, Mrs Stehlíková pointed out. Stalking as a criminal offence appeared in an earlier version of the draft criminal code but was later deleted. Organisations focussed on helping victims of domestic violence are backing its re-inclusion, saying it could allow for the better protection of victims and prevent some cases from escalating into tragedy.
Police are currently investigating a new Czech translation of so-called “neo-Nazi bible” The Turner Diaries, a book said to have inspired the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and other acts of far-right violence. The book – which describes an Aryan revolution that leads to the extermination of the world’s non-white peoples - is banned in many European countries and Czech police must now decide whether it should be banned here too.
The Turner Diaries, a novel considered to be a major source of inspiration to the U.S. neo-Nazi movement, has been published in Prague, making the Czech Republic the only other country, besides the United States, where the book was published legally. The 1978 novel, written by a former U.S. white supremacy activist, describes a violent overthrow of the American government. The Czech police have not taken any steps against the publisher of the Czech translation of the Turner Diaries.
A newly created internet page www.chceteje.cz, has attracted the attention of Czech police for its xenophobic and potentially illegal content. The website, which roughly translates as "Do you want them?", and refers to immigrants in the Czech Republic, attacks people from foreign backgrounds through coarse stereotyping and racial slurs. Its creators have clearly set it up as a counter-attack against, and a parody of, a website run by the Czech NGO People in Need as part of their ongoing campaign to highlight and explain the problem of neo-Nazism.
A bus of students and activists heads for Lety, South Bohemia, on May 13. They are driving to the site of a former concentration camp, set up by the Nazis to wipe out the Bohemian protectorate’s Roma population during the Second World War. Official sources say that 326 Roma perished in the concentration camp at Lety, while many hundreds more were transported from Lety to Auschwitz, where they were taken to the gas chambers.
Memorial services have been taking place at the site of a former concentration camp in the town of Lety. This is the 13th year the Czech Republic has marked the Romany Holocaust. But the site in Lety, still borders a pig farm despite repeated calls by various groups for it to be closed down. Radio Prague’s Rosie Johnston joins us from Lety.
Last year saw the first inception of the Out of Home sports & music festival aimed at helping kids from Czech children’s homes. This week the festival returns – a chance for those who otherwise wouldn’t be able to get to the Czech capital to not only to compete in sports events at Sparta Prague, but also to see bands like Gipsy.cz or Britain’s Fun-da-mental at Prague’s Štvanice Island. Proceeds will go towards continuing social programmes and activities but also towards a new café which will provide some leaving homes with their first jobs.
Prague City Hall has banned four marches planned by right-wing extremists for May 14, a spokesman for the council said Friday. Neo-Nazis wanted to march from the capital’s Letná district to the Isreali Embassy on Badeni Street. Organisers said the marches were to protest against ‘Jewish chauvenism’, Prague City Hall said that such protests were ‘actually aimed at inciting hatred on grounds of religious conviction’. The outlawed marches would have coincided with another meeting, organized by the Prague Jewish Community, in front of the embassy at the same time.
A controversial documentary by Dutch far-right MP Geert Wilders, which this year sparked protests across the Muslim world, has been screened for the first time in the Czech Republic. Monday’s screening of the film Fitna in Brno was organized, perhaps surprisingly, by the Czech Muslim community, which is mainly centred in the Moravian capital.
Karel Gott to get funeral with state honours as singer’s death is mourned at home and abroad
Beijing ends agreement with Prague – but can spat harm Czech capital?
Czech pop music legend Karel Gott dies at the age of 80
Karel Gott’s Mona Lisa to be put up for auction
Czechs observe day of mourning for pop idol Karel Gott