At a ceremony in Prague on Tuesday night, doctors who treated a child who
suffered serious injuries in a racist arson attack were the first
recipients of an award honouring Czechs who actively try to improve the
situation of Roma in Czech society. The doctors from the children’s
department at the intensive care unit of Ostrava hospital received the
Gypsy Spirit prize for their care of Natálka, who suffered burns on
80-percent of her body during a fire-bomb attack on her family’s home in
Vítkov, north Moravia. The Gypsy Spirit award was created by Minister for
Human Rights Michael Kocáb. Former president Václav Havel was amongst the
members of the award committee.
After eight months of recovery and numerous operations, Natálka was released from the hospital on Wednesday and is moving into the new home of her parents. She will need to be brought to hospital twice a week as an out patient, her mother Anna Siváková said on Tuesday. Four far-right extremists have been charged in connection with the fire-bomb attack on the family’s home in April.
A two-year-old Romany girl who suffered burns on 80 percent of her body during a racist attack on her family’s home in north Moravia is being released from hospital after an eight-month stay on Wednesday. Natálka will need to be brought to hospital twice a week as an out patient, her mother Anna Siváková said on Tuesday. Her parents will have to apply appointment to the child’s wounds three times a day and she will require further operations in future. Four far-right extremists have been charged in connection with the fire-bomb attack on the family’s home in Vítkov in April.
The Czech Republic released its latest figures to coincide with world HIV/AIDS day on Tuesday. In spite of the steady climb in new cases, the country still stands out as a low infection zone compared with Western Europe and some states of the former Soviet Union such as Ukraine. But there is a real fear that complacency and indifference over infection twinned with greater exposure to risk are storing up a potential explosion.
It was the literary sensation of the season, but now it has turned out to be little more than a hoax. The novel ‘Bílej kůň, žlutej drak’ (‘White Horse, Yellow Dragon’) by a young Vietnamese girl living in the Czech Republic won a prestigious literary prize for first-time authors and was hailed by the critics as the first testimony of her generation. But in fact the first Vietnamese novel was written by a middle-aged Czech man. Ruth Fraňková has more:
The District Court in the South Bohemian town of České Budějovice has confirmed a three-year prison sentence for the singer of a neo-Nazi music band for hate speech and promotion of fascism. The 29-year-old man was one of those arrested in a series of police raids on the organisers of neo-Nazi concerts and faced up to eight years incarceration. He was convicted for having produced CDs with lyrics praising National Socialism and calling for a “white revolution”.
Another officer of the Czech Army has been suspended for wearing Nazi
symbols. The Czech news agency ČTK reported that Military Police detained
the officer at an anti-aircraft brigade in Strakonice, south Bohemia, on
Thursday. The soldier was immediately suspended, and will be charged with
supporting movements to suppress human rights and freedoms, an army
The Czech Army launched thorough checks earlier this month to curb extremism in the ranks of the army. The measure was prompted by the case of two soldiers from the Czech army contingent in Afghanistan who wore Nazi symbols on their helmets.
After the Czech Senate banned a planned appearance on its premises by the controversial far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders last week, the Czech Muslim organization Libertas Independent Agency on Monday surprised many by extending an invitation to him. The organization is offering to host a screening of Mr. Wilders anti-Islamic film Fitna and organize a debate on the subject.
Human rights campaigners won an important moral victory on Monday when the government of Jan Fischer expressed regret over the forced sterilization of women, almost all of them members of the country’s Roma minority. No reliable figures exist for the numbers of women sterilized, but what’s alarming is that according to human rights groups, the practice continues in isolated cases to this day.
The Czech government expressed its regret on Monday that Roma women were
sterilised in the past without their full consent. A spokesman said the
move was not an apology since the government could not apologise for the
individual mistakes of certain doctors. Minister for Human Rights and
Minorities, Michael Kocáb, said that safeguards had been drawn up to make
sure such a step could not happen in the future.
The number of Roma women who were sterilised in the Czech Republic after 1990 is not clear. Around 80 women complained to the Czech ombudsman Otakar Motejl. He found that women were not properly informed about the step they were taking and could not therefore be said to have given their full consent.
A homeless man in Tachov, near the western German border, who was sleeping in a paper rubbish container is dead after collectors inadvertently dumped him into the compactor. The refuse collectors only realised what was happening when they heard the man scream from inside the compactor and were unable to stop the machine in time. The victim was 25 years old.
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