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Civic Nation Unity in Deversity

Application of Legislation, Criminal Cases, Court Rulings

Application of Legislation, Criminal Cases, Court Rulings

According to the amendment to the Law on the Ombudsman for Human Rights adopted in 2009, its jurisdiction also touches on the protection from discrimination and the right to equal treatment. He received the right to conduct research on this issue to assist victims of discrimination in legal terms, publish reports and make recommendations.

State Council on Roma Affairs was established in Czech Republic in 1997, with regional and municipal coordinators across the country. There are 14 Roma regional coordinators and 163 Roma municipal advisors.

Police officially put the fight against crimes motivated by xenophobia among the most important priorities. On May 21, 2014, Czech government approved an anti-extremism strategy, providing the media with hate crime statistics and ensuring regular publication of them on Interior Ministry website, as well as numerous measures to counter and prevent extremism.

In 2009 the Czech Republic has adopted the concept for the integration of Roma in 2010-2013 “in order to improve the social, economic and political position of the Roma”. In terms of this program, the program of social housing was carried out in review period. Representatives of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports created a website in 2012, which should serve as a guide for teachers to prevent the dissemination of racist ideas in schools. Police and experts in conflict resolution have trained teachers in the framework of “Neo-Nazism: threats and danger”.

In May 2014, Czech Republic adopted a Roma Integration Strategy until 2020, establishing the following goals: support Roma as an ethnic minority; provide equal access to education and employment; improve living conditions for Roma people; ensure equal access to social and health services; ensure protection from discrimination – establish free legal assistance for victims of discrimination. The strategy also focuses on more effective ways to integrate the Roma community.

On the other hand, Czech Republic remains one of the most troubled countries in the EU in matters of discrimination of Roma children in education. In addition, the Czech Republic has not ratified the protocol № 12 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms that provides a general prohibition of discrimination, despite the appeal of the PACE.

While there are official statistics on hate crime, many human rights activists believe that victims often avoid reporting crimes against them, fearing retribution or unfair treatment by the authorities.

According to the Amnesty International report for 2013 the Czech police in some cases very reluctantly looked into cases of fraud, human trafficking and extortion of foreign migrant workers in the forest industry. Additionally, the lawyers of the victims were concerned that the delay in the criminal proceedings lead to the loss of important evidence.

In March, regional court in Usti-nad-Laboj sentenced a nationalist to five years in prison for murdering a Roma man. On the other hand, some actions of Czech law enforcement can be regarded as condoning xenophobia and extremism. On July 17, it was reported that a neo-Nazi who murdered a Roma man in 2001 was released from prison on parole, only spending three years inside. On September 10, Brno City Court acquitted all the accused in the publication of Hitler’s speeches, not finding a criminal offense in this act. Court decided that authors of Adolf Hitler: Projevy published historical documents, which cannot be prosecuted by law. On October 16, prosecutor Jan Petrascheck appealed the verdict in the Regional Court. On January 1st 2013 President Vaclav Klaus announced an amnesty, which covered condemned radical nationalists.

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