Czech police last year detained 4,992 foreigners in the country illegally,
254 more than in 2017. As in previous years, Ukrainians comprised the
largest group, according to a Ministry of the Interior report.
Nearly 1,500 Ukrainians were detained by the police in 2018. Large numbers of Moldovans, Vietnamese, Russians and Georgians illegally in the country were also detained.
Most had entered the country legally but exceeded their permitted stays or had expired visas, the Interior Ministry said. Some have done so repeatedly.
The international volunteer group Food Not Bombs has been providing free food to the homeless and hungry since 1980, and now has branches throughout the Czech Republic. In recent weeks, police and inspectors in an Ostrava district have been preventing volunteers from distributing food on orders from City Hall officials.
An estimated 3,800 foreigners worked illegally in the Czech Republic last
year, almost twice as many as in 2017.
According to a Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs report on combating illegal employment, four-fifths of them were Ukrainians. Many were Slovaks, Romanians or Bulgarians.
The overall numbers have risen because it is more costly for employers to lose out fulfilling orders than are the fines imposed for hiring illegal workers, the Ministry report says.
Its inspectors have focused mainly on construction worksites, warehouses and logistics centres, where hundreds of people are employed.
Social Democrats party chairman Jan Hamáček told journalists on Monday
that his party could withdraw from the coalition government if its senior
partner ANO votes to elect far-right journalist Michal Semin to the council
of state news agency ČTK.
Semin, who has blamed American elites for the 9/11 terror attacks, heads the ultra-conservative movement Akce DOST. Last week, the Federation of Jewish Communities protested against his candidacy, citing his alleged anti-Semitic statements
His candidacy for the ČTK council was proposed by the far-right opposition Freedom and Direct Democracy party. It was also backed by ANO deputies in a first-round vote earlier in June.
Hamáček said that Semin was an “unacceptable” candidate. If ANO voted to support him in the second round on 20 June, there would be no point for the Social Democrats to continue in the coalition government, he said.
Later on Monday, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, who founded ANO, said his party had not supported Semin’s candidacy and would not back him in future. He said he did not understand why Hamáček said otherwise, calling it “a nonsense”.
Ida Kelarová is a singer, musician and choirmaster who performs some of the best Romany music to come out of the Czech Republic. Paradoxically it was years before she discovered her Romany roots and drew inspiration from Roma culture and music. Today this legacy has become an important part of her life and she works hard to help talented Romany children living in excluded localities in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
A procession by Roma musicians, singers and dancers from all over the world
will pass through the centre of Prague on Friday as part of the annual
Khamoro festival. The parade will start at the lower part of Wenceslas
Square at midday on Friday and head to the Old Town Square.
The 21st edition of the week-long festival of Romany culture got underway last Sunday, offering various concerts, workshops and seminars. It will culminate on Saturday with a gala concert at the Prague club SaSaZu on Saturday.
Roma activists David Tišer and Karel Karika are this year’s recipients of the František Kriegel award in recognition of civic courage handed out by the Charter 77 foundation. The award, which will be presented at a ceremony in Prague on Wednesday, acknowledges their fight for equality and human rights for members of the Romani community as well as for the socially excluded.
Khamoro, the World Roma Festival of music and culture, kicks off on Sunday
evening with a free concert by the band Gipsy Suno in Prague’s Karlín
The annual week-long event is now celebrating its 21st year. Apart from a wide variety of traditional and modern Romany music, the programme features exhibitions, theatrical performances, a fashion show and public discussions.
Khamoro, which means sun in the Roma language, is the largest such festival in the world. It peaks on Saturday with a gala concert featuring Fanfare Ciocarlia (Romania), 3000 DeSCencias (Spain), Ivan Herák (Czechia), and Romengo (Hungary), among others.
The latest Rainbow Map, a comprehensive evaluation of 49 European countries according to their attitude towards sexual minorities ranks the Czech Republic in 31st place – closer to countries where members of the LGBTI community face systemic discrimination or routinely see their human rights violated.
Today Anna Thu Nguyenová is based in California, where she works with technology start-ups. But the young Czech-Vietnamese woman is familiar to many here in her native country thanks to roles on TV series, including a soap opera in which she appeared in over 100 episodes. Indeed, when we spoke recently she was taking a break from her business career to appear in a new Czech Television series. Some viewers will know her by her former name, Anh Thu Nguyen Thi, and she explained the change.
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