Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 November 2014, 11:16 GMT

Chronology for Roma in the Czech Republic

Publisher Minorities at Risk Project
Publication Date 2004
Cite as Minorities at Risk Project, Chronology for Roma in the Czech Republic, 2004, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/469f387ec.html [accessed 26 November 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.
Date(s) Item
Apr 26, 1990 At a press conference, representatives of the Romany Civic Initiative (ROI) described unemployment, education, living standards and housing as the worst problems among the Roma and called for the recognition of the Roma nationality. The organization also stated that the Roma should be housed among the rest of the population and called for improvement in their educational and cultural standards.
May 1, 1990 Two hundred skinheads created havoc in central Prague, turning on a Canadian tourist group after beating up on some Roma and Vietnamese.
May 10, 1990 According to an official report, there have been repeated attacks on Gypsies during the past several weeks by skinheads and punks in various Czechoslovak towns. The report also noted that almost half of those arrested for burglary or robbery this year were Gypsies.
May 18, 1990 The ROI expressed its dismay over what it called the "buck passing" of police who failed to respond to attacks against the Roma.
Jun 1, 1990 The first free elections since 1946 were held. A Roma party participated and gained 0.73% of the vote.
Jul 27, 1990 The ROI organized the first world festival of Gypsy art.
Aug 1990 Due to fact that Romanian Gypsies, among others, use Czechoslovakia as a transit rout to Germany, the government announced travel restrictions on Romanian tourists.
Nov 1990 The first Roma magazine in Slovakia began publication.
Dec 1990 The first Constituent Congress of the Cultural Union of Romanies was held.
Jan 1991 A poll of Roma in the Slovak Republic reported that about two-thirds of the Roma there regard themselves as Roma with the rest considering themselves ethnic Slovaks or Hungarians.
1991 According to a poll, 91% of the population of Czechoslovakia dislike the Roma.
Feb 1991 There were reports of Gypsies migrating from the Slovaki republic to the Czech republic.
Jul 14, 1991 According to the Warsaw Voice, "a week does not pass without the press writing of new brawls with Gypsies, of their being thrown out of public places, of attempts at Lynchings, of arson at their homes." Some of these attacks resulted in deaths.
Sep 10, 1991 A Roma publication demanded the right of Roma representatives from Czechoslovakia to take part in upcoming European talks on the human rights and positions of minorities.
Nov 1991 Neo-Nazi skinheads marched through the center of Prague chanting "Gypsies to the gas chambers."
Jan 1 - Feb 28, 1992 Skinheads resolved to replace the police whom they see as ineffective. In order to prevent crime they engaged in several pogroms against Gypsies. According to opinion polls, more than half of those polled approved of the skinheads' activities or at least do not condemn them. The skinheads are tacitly supported by local populations because when they appear, the Gypsies vanish.
Mar 21, 1992 The Romany Parliament was formed with the intention of uniting the various Roma political parties. Unfortunately, these intentions went unrealized.
Mar 26, 1992 According to a poll, 69% of Czechoslovakians consider themselves to have a bad relationship with the Roma.
May 1992 The Movement of Committed Romanies was excluded from the upcoming elections for the Czech parliament because it had not met the conditions prescribed by the election rules. The ROI, however, was slated to participate.
Jun 6, 1992 The ROI gained only 0.26% of the vote in the elections for the Czech parliament. In the elections for the Czechoslovakian parliament, the racist extreme-right Republican party gained enough votes to enter parliament with 6% of the vote and as much as 15% in regions heavily populated by the Roma. The party's platform included a promise to clear the country of the Roma.
Jul 1992 It was revealed that a secret report by the Czech government preparing for its upcoming split with Slovakia contained, among other things, a program for expelling all Gypsies in the Czech Republic to Slovakia.
Jul 1992 South Bohemian representatives of the ROI addressed an open letter to ROI chairman Scuka expressing a lack of confidence in him due to the ROI's failure to win a seat in the June 5-6 elections and accused him of intentionally destroying Romany unity.
Aug 3, 1992 Representatives of 19 Roma organizations active in the Czech Republic formed the Romany Democratic Congress as an official representative of the Roma minority in the Czech Republic.
Aug 20, 1992 The Romany congress of Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia and Slovakia was formed as a political movement intending to act as a representative of the Roma in talks with the government.
Aug 30, 1992 Inter Press Service reported that despite government claims that there have been few attacks on Gypsies, many Roma claimed that the police disregard and refuse to report harassment and violence against the Roma.
Oct 1992 An estimated 800 to 8,000 Roma emigrate to Czech land from Slovakia seeking jobs. A town newspaper received a letter threatening skinhead-led shootings and bombing's of the town's Roma population in retribution for disturbances and crimes allegedly committed by Roma. Individual Roma in the town also received threatening letters.
Dec 1992 Vigilantes in Prague calling themselves "private security firms" systematically harass the Roma there. The racist weekly publication "Politika" published a "black list" in which it considers Gypsies "public enemy number one."
Dec 1, 1992 - Jan 31, 1993 The Czech government complained that thousands of Roma were migrating from the Slovak Republic immediately before and after the split-up. However, the exact number of migrants was unclear. Some estimate that 25,000 to 30,000 regularly migrate back and forth across the border. The migration is especially heavy in the area of northern Bohemia. Bohemian mayors demanded the right to expel the Gypsies back to Slovakia and bar their return.
Dec 3, 1992 In a poll, 77% of Czechs described their relations with the Roma as bad and only 4% described them as good.
Jan 1993 The Czech and Slovak Republics formally separated into two states. A series of Czech laws apparently aimed at containing Gypsy migration took effect.
Jan 19, 1993 Czech authorities sent police reinforcements to northern Bohemia to prevent an explosion of violence against Gypsies.
Jan 30, 1993 About 300 skinheads from all over the Czech Republic gathered to protest the killing of a skinhead by a shot from a Roma-inhabited house.
Feb 8, 1993 Five Czech ministers and the prosecutor general met to discuss the Roma issue. The Roma demanded the outlawing of racist and fascist groups in the Czech Republic and criticized the government's silence on racist attacks against them. They also demanded the repeal of citizenship laws that they say discriminate against them. The Czech Republic has defined most Roma as Slovaks because their parents were not born in the Czech Republic, even if the individual in question was born there and never left. Furthermore, the government placed unreasonable obstacles on applications for citizenship by Slovaks which are directed specifically at preventing Roma from succeeding at gaining citizenship. The discriminatory laws include: Roma must prove that they have been residents for at least two years, which is often difficult due to their nomadic lifestyle; anyone convicted of a crime in the past 5 years is not eligible for citizenship; and a language proficiency test must be passed, which is difficult for many Roma who are illiterate and whose native language is Romany. This denial of citizenship effectively bars many Roma from receiving social security, welfare and other state benefits.
Feb 23, 1993 The Roma Democratic Congress complained of an increasing number of skirmishes between skinheads and Roma.
Feb 25, 1993 According to a poll 67% of Czechs believed that minority rights could be restricted in the interests of the majority.
Apr 5, 1993 A 17-year-old Czech beauty contest contestant aroused a furor saying that her life's ambition was to clean her Bohemian hometown of Gypsies.
Jun 14, 1993 Under the discriminatory citizenship laws, a 16-year-old Roma who was born in and never left the Czech Republic was forced to go to Slovakia to give birth.
Sep 1993 A group of 18 skinheads drowned a Roma boy. Only two were eventually convicted and were given light sentences.
Dec 9, 1993 Helsinki Watch criticized the Czech Republic's attitude toward its Roma minority.
Feb 9, 1994 Czech authorities said that far-right groups are on the rise and that at least 10 different factions of skinheads, including neo-Nazis and a home-grown version of the KKK, carry out regular armed attacks against the Roma minority.
Apr 14, 1994 According to a poll, 75% of Czechs are hostile to the Roma.
Jul 1, 1994 Slovaks can no longer apply for Czech citizenship. This effectively placed over 100,000 Roma living in the Czech Republic who have not been able to meet the criteria for citizenship in the position of having no nationality. Roma and human rights organizations repeatedly criticized the Czech citizenship laws.
Aug 12, 1994 The Czech-Moravian Centre party demanded that a border regime be established with Slovakia in order to prevent the migration of Roma across that border.
Sep 14, 1994 The Czech Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional a law proposed by the opposition that would abolish the country's discriminatory citizenship laws.
Jan 1995 There were numerous skinhead attacks upon the Roma as well as numerous skirmishes between the two groups throughout the year.
Jan 25, 1995 The Council of the Romany Democratic Congress (which includes the ROI) joined the government's opposition due to the government's handling of Roma issues.
Feb 1, 1995 The Civic Association of Romanies (OSR) announced that it is interested in setting up Roma preschools.
Mar 1995 In a poll, only 8% of Czechs think more attention should be given to the right's of the Czech Republic's Roma minority.
Apr 1995 According to a poll, only 13% of Czechs expressed "tolerance" for Roma. The far-right Assembly for the Republic-Czechslovak Republican Party (SPT-RSC) said in its security manifesto, among other things, that a solution should be found to "problems concerning unadaptable nationalities and population groups, mainly Gypsies." They also blamed the Roma for most crimes committed in the Czech Republic.
May 13, 1995 Skinheads broke into the home of a Roma and beat him to death. A monument to the victims of a concentration camp where Czech Roma were kept before being shipped to Nazi extermination camps was unveiled.
May 15, 1995 The SPR-RSC demanded the resignation of Czech President Vaclev Havel for, among other things, accepting Czech responsibility for the murder of thousands of Roma during World War II.
May 16, 1995 In the wake of the murder of a Roma by skinheads, the government agreed to ban all racial-oriented parties and pass stricter sentences for racially motivated crimes.
May 19, 1995 Czech Roma organizations asked the Czech parliament to set up a watchdog commission to supervise the investigation of all racially motivated crimes.
Jun 5, 1995 According to a poll, about 36% of Czechs believe that Czech society is intolerant toward Roma and a like number believes that it is too tolerant.
Jun 24, 1995 The charter of a network of Czech towns cooperating in solving Roma problems was signed.
Sep 23, 1995 About 70 anti-fascists joined about 30 Roma to protest against fascism.
Oct 2, 1995 It was announced that Roma would be able to become policemen without finishing secondary school but would be required to complete their education while working.
Oct 25, 1995 About 40 envoys from various Roma groups held a silent protest in front of the government offices in Prague after a series of particularly violent skinhead attacks on Roma.
Oct 28, 1995 About 100 Roma protested against racism in the town of Byeclav.
Nov 2, 1995 About 100 Roma protested against racism in the southern Bohemian town of Pisek.
Nov 17, 1995 About 300 Roma silently protested against racism in the northern Bohemian town of Usti Nad Labom.
Nov 30, 1995 The town of Usti Nad Labom filed criminal charges against two leaders of the Roma protest of November 17. They were charged with inciting people to crime.
Dec 10, 1995 Romanies held demonstrations at two different places to mark Human Rights Day. The main rally gathered at the Letna plain, with participants being brought by buses from different parts of the country. There were no incidents despite reports that a group of skinheads were on their way there. A handful of them arrived when the rally was practically over. A handful of Romanies staged a separate protest in front of the United States embassy to bring attention to the fact that twenty-eight Romanies have been murdered, and 450 have been assaulted by skinheads in the Czech Republic in the past three years. (Source: BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, 12/12/95)
Jan 3, 1996 A Brno official has appealed a widely criticized court verdict that convicted four youths in connection with the brutal May 13th killing of a Romany father of five, but ruled that the attack lacked racial motivation. On Dec. 21 Jan Plaisner, a regional state attorney handling the case, appealed the sentences of all four suspects for being too lenient. And he insisted that the killing be re-qualified as racially motivated. Czech law mandates harsher minimum sentences for racially motivated crimes. (Source: The Prague Post, 1/3/96)
Feb 14, 1996 A Romany (Gypsy) family from the central Bohemian industrial town of Kladno has asked for political asylum in Great Britain. The family claims it had no choice but to flee the Czech Republic, because skinheads were harassing them daily. Also, the government approved an amendment to the controversial citizenship law that, if passed by Parliament, will sweep away a major obstacle for Romanies (Gypsies) applying for Czech citizenship. The amendment removes the requirement that applicants must have a clean criminal record for the last five years. The Czech citizenship law has been denounced as racist and unfair by Romanies since its passing in 1993.(Source: The Prague Post, 2/14/96)
Feb 28, 1996 Jan Farkas, a Romany multi-millionaire has been selected by the Romany Royal Council to be the next King of the Romany people. The legitimacy of Farkas' title is highly dubious, because a large portion of the disjointed Romany community feel that a Romany king is an impossible and unnecessary extravagance. Farkas claims that a petition signed by more than 80,000 European Romany gives him the legitimacy to be coronated. Farkas' crowning was postponed in April 1993 when, just one day before the ceremony, Farkas was arrested and later jailed on 12 charges - including fraud, tax evasion, and illegal dealing in uranium. (Source: The Prague Post, 2/28/96)
Apr 26, 1996 In Parliament, the Left Bloc (LB) and the Civic Democratic Party (ODS) teamed up to push the Payne amendment to the Czech citizenship law through. The Czech citizenship law which has been criticized since its creation in 1993 will today be altered so that persons who have a criminal record who are applying for Czech citizenship will not automatically be denied but will instead have a chance to have their case reviewed by the Interior Ministry. (Source: The Prague Post, 5/1/96)
May 8, 1996 Sladek's stridently nationalist Assembly for the Republic-Czechoslovak Republican Party (CSPR-RSC) are bouncing back. Compared with a year ago, when Sladek's party lagged behind the 5 percent needed to get into Parliament, the Republicans are now polling a comfortable 6 percent. A recent polling agency's April survey even suggested they would be the third strongest party after this month's general elections. The Republicans' popularity is not on a par with that of France's Jean-Marie Le Pen or the Austrian far-right Freedom Party, but the party's recipe of anti-Romany (Gypsy) rhetoric, death-penalty demands and an uncompromising stance toward Sudeten Germans is working. (Source: The Prague Post, 5/8/96)
Jun 14, 1996 The city government of Kladno has banned Gypsy children under 15 years of age from swimming at municipal swimming areas because according to their sources, 95% of local cases of hepatitis involved Gypsy children. (Source: ABC-CLIO, 6/14/1996)
Jul 25, 1996 Miroslav Sladek, chairman of the extreme right opposition Assembly for the Republic-Czechoslovak Republican Party (SPR-RSC), proposed to the Czech Parliament that the age of criminal responsibility be lowered to 10 for the Romany population. Sladek also stated, "I can tell you what I heard among the citizens. Their views of the Gypsy population have reached such a stage that I heard: the age of criminal responsibility for Gypsies should be their birth because this is, in fact, their biggest crime,". Some members of Parliament have expressed their desire to bring legal action against Sladek for making racist comments, however under the constitution, a deputy is not accountable for speeches made in parliament. He can only be given a disciplinary reprimand. (Source: CTK National News Wire, 7/25/96)
Aug 29, 1996 A Czech pub owner who has repeatedly refused to serve Romany customers was found not guilty of racism. (Source: CTK National News Wire, 8/29/96)
Nov 4, 1996 A skinhead march took place in the west Bohemian town of Chodov. During the meeting there were public displays of racism and anti-semitism. The council of the Romany Democratic Congress (RDK) has protested against the attitude of police and the mayor of Chodov, who, instead of preventing the march from occurring, told Romanies beforehand that they should not leave their houses. (Source: CTK National News Wire, 11/4/96)
Dec 1, 1996 Three skinheads attacked two minor boys, one teenager and a young woman, all of them of Romany extraction, causing to them serious injuries. (Source: CTK National News Wire, 12/1/96)
Dec 11, 1996 In a survey, conducted by the Institute for Public Opinion Research (IVVM), 45 percent of respondents agreed that Romanies should be expelled from the country, and 22 percent said they would "give more room to the (fascist) skinhead movement." Ninety-five percent of respondents said that the main cause of the Romany problem is that Romanies do not want to work and that they abuse social welfare, and 87 percent would not want to have a Romany for a neighbor. (Source: The Prague Post, 12/11/96)
Mar 18, 1997 Four skinheads aged less than 15 were responsible for an attack on six young Romanies ( Gypsies) inflicting numerous injuries to the face, head, arms and legs.(Source: CTK National News Wire, 3/18/97)
Jul 1, 1997 Two skinheads attacked a large Romany family near Brno's Main Station for unknown reasons. One of the attacked, suffered a fractured jaw and had to be taken to hospital. (Source: CTK National News Wire, 7/1/97)
Jul 2, 1997 Stark, black-and-white posters of young Romanies captioned with anti-racist slogans were plastered on walls and corners, as part of an aggressive anti-racist campaign in Prague. The posters quickly became victims of their own message, ripped to shreds within days of their unveiling. (Source: The Prague Post, 7/2/97)
Aug 27, 1997 A large anti-Romany rally engineered by skinheads took place in front of the Lido Motel in Toronto, Canada where Czech Romanies awaiting the outcome of their applications for political asylum have been staying. (Source: CTK National News Wire, 8/27/97)
Sep 3, 1997 The citizenship law that has frustrated Romanies since its passing in 1993 will apparently remain on the books despite continued criticism by international human rights groups, U.S. lawmakers, and a few voices in the Czech parliament. Although the law was altered slightly by the addition of the Payne amendment in 1996 many still consider it to be racially biased. (Source: The Prague Post, 9/3/97)
Sep 3, 1997 George Kubes, the Czech-Canadian lawyer representing several dozen Czech Romanies applying for asylum in Canada, claims that Czech immigration authorities are trying to hinder his clients' chances of gaining refugee status there, by falsifying documents to show that the refugees have criminal records. (Source: The Prague Post, 9/3/97)
Sep 23, 1997 A 36-year-old Romany woman suffocated to death in an epileptic fit on Saturday night, thought to have been brought on by sheer fright at a drive-by attack by a baying mob of 11 skinheads, who fired air pistols at her windows and shouted "Sieg Heil!" (Source: CTK National News Wire, 9/23/97)
Oct 8, 1997 Canada reintroduced visas for Czechs after a wave of Romanies from the Czech Republic flooded Canadian shores seeking asylum status in August and September. (Source: The Prague Post, 10/28/97)
Oct 15, 1997 Three teenage skinheads have been charged with arson for attempting to burn down an apartment housing 16 Romanies. (Source: The Prague Post, 10/15/97)
Oct 17 - 19, 1997 More than 170 Romanies from the Czech Republic landed in Dover, Britain, the main port from Continental Europe, seeking asylum. (Source: The Prague Post, 10/22/97)
Nov 24, 1997 Josef Krejsa, a deputy for the extreme right-wing Republican Party (SPR-RSC), proposed "making gypsies illegal," and wants to introduce a bill to this effect to the Chamber of Deputies, "under the principles of the concept of freedom of Masaryk's First (Czechoslovak) Republic (1918-38)" (Source: CTK National News Wire, 11/24/97)
Dec 10, 1997 The RDK has suggested that the relatives of Romany citizens whose homes were confiscated during the Holocaust, sold off cheaply to Czechs, and then taken over by the communists be recompensed for the personal wealth that was seized from them. (Source: The Prague Post , 12/10/97)
Feb 27, 1998 An early-morning brawl in Moravska Trebova, east Bohemia, involving some 20 Romanies (Gypsies) and four plainclothes policemen, has left resulted in the arrest of four of the Romanies. According to Milos Izak, director of the regional investigator's office in Svitavy, east Bohemia, independent witnesses say the group of Romanies attacked the police officers. The Romanies have denied starting the fight. The four Romanies are charged with attacking a public official, breaching public order, and inflicting violence upon an individual. If found guilty, each faces up to five years in prison. (Source: The Prague Post:, 3/4/98)
Feb 28, 1998 Six skinheads and nine Romanies have been charged with breach of the peace and criminal damage in connection to a brawl in Breclav's Trip restaurant. The skinheads have also been charged with race offences. Before the brawl, the skinheads are said to have destroyed the gate of a house, damaged a car belonging to a Romany man and broken several windows. This damage was estimated at 2,000 crowns, mild in comparison with the 50,000 crowns of damage done to the Trip restaurant once a brawl broke out. (Source: BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, 3/5/98)
Mar 27, 1998 The EU issued a set of recommendations to 11 candidate countries in which it detailed specific actions to be taken in order to satisfy EU criteria. Problem areas cited for the Czech Republic are discrimination against Czech Romanies (Gypsies), the development of effective border management, strengthening of laws guaranteeing freedom of the press and more effective protection of the environment. (Source: The Prague Post, 4/8/98)
Apr 5, 1998 The government Committee for Compensation of Victims of Romany Holocaust has decided that a Romany Holocaust museum should be built on the site of a former Romany concentration camp in Lety, south Bohemia. According to the committee's spokesman, Markus Pape, construction of the museum should start in January 1999. However, the site is currently occupied by a pig farm, the demolition of which may cost up to 300 million crowns.(Source: CTK National News Wire, 4/9/98)
Apr 29, 1998 Miroslave Sladek and the CSPR-RSC have initiated a billboard campaign which calls for an end to affirmative action programs, and government aid programs for Romany citizens. (Source: CTK National News Wire, 4/29/98)
May 9, 1998 Two Romany physically attacked extreme-right Republican Party (SPR-RSC) leader Miroslav Sladek after he allegedly made racist remarks and insulting comments about President Vaclav Havel. The two men, who were arrested and charged with racially-motivated assault and breach of the peace, were pardoned by Czech President Havel. (Source: BBC Worldwide Monitoring, 5/13/98)
May 11, 1998 A Czech Roma was beaten by skinheads, then run over by a passing truck as he lay unconscious in the street. (Source: International Herald Tribune, 5/25/98)
May 13, 1998 The two men who attacked SPR-RSC leader Miroslav Sladek on May 9 traveled to Prague to express their gratitude to President Havel, and to present a proposal that Miroslav's far right party be outlawed.
May 25, 1998 In Pilsen, elected officials plan a fenced-in compound on the city's outskirts for several hundred public housing residents, who are mostly Romany. Ten portable cabins will hold several hundred residents in a dormitory setup. Residents will be free to come and go, while a police station inside the compound will keep a 24-hour watch. A city-appointed warden will supervise the cabins and grounds. The warden would have the right to enter any room, whether the resident agrees or not. (Source: International Herald Tribune, 5/25/98)
Jun 6, 1998 Romany Jozef Polyak, a Czech Romany, gave a bunch of white flowers to Miroslav Sladek, the chairman of the extreme right-wing Republicans, at a party rally in Semily, East Bohemia, on Friday. (Source: CTK National News Wire, 6/6/98)
Jun 20, 1998 The authorities in Pilsen say they have rejected a proposal by city employees to isolate residents described as ''unadaptable,'' mainly Romanies, in a compound on the city's edge. A city spokesman indicated that Pilsen still plans to move such people into renovated dormitory-style housing near railroad tracks, though these residences would not be fenced in. The plan includes a room for the police and calls for increased police patrols around the building. In the northern Czech city of Usti and Labem, meanwhile, the authorities say they are still considering plans for a wall to separate a housing project populated mainly by Gypsies from homes owned by non- Gypsies. The plans called for an anti-noise wall four meters high (13 feet) made of concrete bricks on Maticni Street, and a 2.2-meter-high metal fence on the far side of the housing project. Along with two neighboring buildings, this would effectively wall in the Romanies of Maticni Street. (Source: International Herald Tribune, 6/20/98)
Jun 21, 1998 The Romany Democratic Alliance (DAR) today thanked all Czech voters for having prevented the Republicans (SPR-RSC) from entering Parliament after the early parliamentary elections. The SPR-RSC won only slightly over 3 percent of the vote, while the parliamentary threshold is 5 percent. (Source: CTK National News Wire, 6/21/98)
Jul 8, 1998 Monika Horakova, age 24, has been elected as a deputy to the new Czech Parliament. Not only is she the youngest deputy in the new Czech Parliament, she's also the first female Romany to hold a government seat. (Source: The Prague Post, 7/8/98)
Aug 12, 1998 Almost a third of Czechs surveyed believe that Romanies should be more severely punished for their crimes than non-Romany citizens, according to a poll published by the STEM polling agency. Only 65 percent if those surveyed believed that Romanies should be allowed to live as they please if they do not endanger other citizens. Thirteen percent openly admitted to be racists. (Source: The Prague Post, 8/19/98)
Oct 27, 1998 A proposal to crack down on discrimination against Romanies in establishments such as hotels, restaurants and clubs may backfire over the government's decision not to budget a mere 24,000 Kc ($800) per month for extra inspectors. (Source: The Prague Post, 10/27/98)
Jan 6, 1999 An unknown culprit has repeatedly painted fascist symbols and insulting slogans on a house of a Romany family in Nezamyslice. (Source: CTK National News Wire, 1/6/99)
Feb 17, 1999 Eduard Valasek, secretary of the League for Romany Human Rights, known in Krnov as the "White Gypsy", was granted asylum by Canada. After being beaten up and having his life repeatedly threatened, Valasek fled the Czech Republic. He hopes to continue his work from Canada.(Source: CTK National News Wire, 1/6/99)
Mar 3, 1999 A court has reduced on appeal the sentence of one of the men who participated in the drowning of Helena Bihariova, a Romany in February 1998. The Hradec Kralove Regional Court lowered the sentence of Petr Klazar to 15 months from six-and-a-half years, dropping the conviction for extortion resulting in death. Klazar thus stands guilty only of hooliganism.
Apr 8, 1999 The Czech government said it will pay no attention to a petition in which a few dozen Znojmo citizens, mainly entrepreneurs, call for local Romanies to be moved out of the town to provisional housing estates at the former border guard base. (Source: BBC Worldwide Monitoring, 4/8/99)
May 13, 1999 Representatives of Romany organizations started a protest against a pig farm in Lety, south Bohemia, that is on the site of a World War II Romany labor camp that was to be the site of a national Romany museum. The protest was started because the Czech government claims it can not allocate the 17 million dollars needed to purchase and relocate the pig farm The protest, which calls for the removal of the pig farm, started at the monument to the Romany victims of the Holocaust on the labor camp burial grounds next to the pig farm. (Source: The Prague Post, 5/19/99)
May 21, 1999 A Romany family was attacked in their own flat in Tachovska Street by a group of 15 skinheads with sticks. Three members of the family received light injuries, and a family friend had his hand broken. (Source: BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, 5/25/99)
Jun 2, 1999 Officials in Usti nad Labem, a town in northern Bohemia have scrapped plans to build a 4 meter wall to separate the Romany owned homes on one side of the street from the Czech owned homes on the other side of the street. City officials still plan to construct a 1.8 meter ceramic dividing fence, but Romany residents in the town have begun petitioning the construction of any dividing line. Local officials claim to have the authority to continue with their plan, but the Czech cabinet seems unwilling to allow local leaders to build any dividing wall that will only further tarnish the already much blemished Czech record of dealings with their Romany population.
Jun 9, 1999 The Ministry of Education has agreed to pump fresh funds into a special high school for Romanies that was on the verge of financial collapse less than a year after opening. The local power company had threatened to cut off electricity to the school, which had fallen behind in payments. The school's director, Jana Tluchorova, said that students do not pay fees because their parents cannot afford it. She also said that the school receives less money per pupil from the ministry than other schools do. (Source: The Prague Post, 6/9/99)

Search Refworld

Countries

Topics