Three Youths Imprisoned for Attacking Romani Couple
03 April 2006
According to a 4 November 2005, article by the online newspaper Romano Vodi, three youths were sentenced, on the same day, to imprisonment for a brutal attack on a Romani couple in Jesenik. The Jesenik court sentenced Martin Stiskala, Petr Blajze and Martin Jas to three years, three and a half years, and four and a half years respectively. According to the indictment, the youths broke into the couple's apartment, early one morning in June 2003, under the false pretext that they were police officers. They then proceeded to attack the couple, hitting the pregnant women and stabbing her male partner with a knife. Background information can be found at: http://www.errc.org/cikk.php?cikk=1864.
The regional court returned the case to Jesenik for more expert reviews. Expert Ilja Sin reportedly told the court that the woman suffered permanent bodily harm, in particular seriously impaired vision. The three youths were punished previously by the court in January 2004, but only given suspended sentences. The increased sentence in the 4 November 2005 verdict caused a number of public protests. The judge ruling on the case, Mr Dusan Jedlicka, defined the attack as racist: "The defendants deliberately caused them severe bodily harm due to their ethnic group. They committed the criminal activity in a brutal and hideous way."