Concerted Effort Needed by National and International Authorities to End Rising Tension in the Czech Republic
31 August 2011
Budapest, 31 August 2011: Yesterday, the ERRC sent a series of letters to Czech and international authorities in response to rising ethnic tensions in the Northern Bohemian region of the Czech Republic. In a letter addressed to Czech authorities in the region, the ERRC noted that although a number of special police units have been deployed to the region, this was not sufficient to respond effectively to the 26 August anti-Roma march by nearly 1,000 local residents and rightwing extremists which ended in an attack on several Romani homes. Recalling that further anti-Roma marches have been announced for 3 and 10 September involving rightwing groups and the Czech Workers’ Party, the ERRC called on Czech authorities to deploy mediators to address growing ethnic tensions through non-violent means, to deploy an adequate number of police officers to prevent anti-Romani violence, to re-route any march planned near local Romani neighbourhoods and to prosecute all persons found to be responsible for anti-Roma violence. The ERRC also addressed European Union, Council of Europe, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and United Nations human rights watchdogs to monitor, through site visits, anti-Roma marches planned in the coming weeks in the Czech Republic and to encourage and monitor the investigation and prosecution of all perpetrators of anti-Roma violence by Czech authorities.
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ERRC Media and Communications Officer