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Anti-Roma Violence in Czech Republic Must End

1 March 2012

Budapest, Prague, 1 March 2012: The European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC), Amnesty International and the Hate Is No Solution Coalition, sent a letter today calling for authorities to act against anti-Roma violence in Czech Republic. 

The organisations are calling on authorities in Czech Republic to take urgent measures to prevent further attacks, to protect Roma from discriminatory violence and to ensure that all attacks are subject to a full and effective investigation.

There have been 23 violent attacks that have resulted in three deaths in the last six months, according to media reports. At least 16 anti-Roma rallies have taken place in the last year. And the ERRC is also aware of 11 arson attacks against the homes of Roma families in recent years.

Thomas Hammarberg, Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe recently published his report on the Human Rights of Roma and Travellers in Europe. It drew attention to the violent attacks against Roma in Czech Republic.

The ERRC, Amnesty International and the Hate is no Solution Coalition remind the Czech authorities that they have an obligation under international human rights law to ensure the security and physical integrity of its citizens, without discrimination.

The organisations are calling on the government to ensure that:

  • Public officials and politicians publicly and explicitly condemn attacks against Roma;
  • Public officials refrain from derogatory or racist comments about Roma;
  • Law enforcement agencies take effective steps to protect Roma against racially motivated attacks;
  • Racially motivated violence and other hate crimes are fully and effectively investigated – including efforts to unmask any discriminatory motives - and those reasonably suspected of responsibility are brought to justice in trials which comply with international standards;
  • Adequate numbers of state and other police are deployed to relevant locations to guarantee the physical safety of Romani residents;
  • Police officers receive training on hate crimes and the role of the police in combating them.

For more information, please contact:

Sinan Gokçen
ERRC Media and Communications Officer
sinan.gokcen@errc.org
+36.30.500.1324
 

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