Monday marks 10 years since a landmark discrimination ruling was handed to
the Czech Republic by the European Court of Human Rights. The court ruled
that the Czech Republic had violated the European Convention of Human
Rights by segregating Roma children into schools for the mentally disabled.
Eighteen Roma children were discriminated against and their rights to
education trampled on.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner, the OSCE and other organisations have called on states to increase their efforts to integrate Roma children at regular state schools.
Politician, lawyer, essayist and former dissident Petr Pithart is to
receive this year’s Pelikán award recognizing outstanding contributions
to political culture and civic dialogue. The award, named after Olomouc
native Jiří Pelikán, is given by the bimonthly Listy.
Jiří Pelikán, who died in Rome in 1999, was a former communist and former head of Czechoslovak state television in the 1960s; he backed the Prague Spring and escaped from Czechoslovakia in 1968 after the Soviet-led invasion. He was given political asylum in Italy and was later elected to the European Parliament for the Italian Socialist Party.
The Prague High Court has increased a previous six-year sentence for drug
dealer Vítězslav Meišner to 8.5 years behind bars. The ruling is
Police tracked the former poker player since 2015 and wiretapped his calls, finding he sold illicit drugs to numerous clients, among them a former national team footballer, who denied drug use and said the term “kokeš” he used in conversation referred not to cocaine but to a brand-name beer.
Rescue crews, police divers called after car plunges into Labe River
Emergency crews including police divers were called to the district of
Rozbělesy, Děčín, on Monday after a vehicle broke through a road
barrier, according to witnesses, and plunged into the Labe River. The
accident took place shortly before 10 am. The vehicle was not immediately
found but was recovered later by crane.
One person was found dead inside. The death is being investigated by the police.
Road conditions appear to not to have been a factor in the accident; while there was snowfall overnight, it was at higher levels in the Ore Mountains (Krušné hory).
Numerous demonstrations, as well as cultural events, will be held this
Friday on the occasion of the 28th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution,
which led to the fall of communism in Czechoslovakia, and 78 years the
brutal oppression of Czech students by the Nazis in 1939.
On the day, the Czech police will be expected to keep ultra-right and leftist extremists from clashing. Prague Municipal Police spokesman Tomáš Hulan said the details of concrete measures would be revealed over the next several days. On Friday, right-wing extremists are planning a march on Prague’s Narodní třída, where in 1989 the police moved against student protestors, sparking the Velvet Revolution.
A cultural event celebrating democracy and freedom will feature music by Jiří Schmitzer, Laco Deczi and the band Zrní.
The deputy governor of the region of Ústí and the head of the local
branch of the Communist Party in Chomutov Jaroslav Komínek has made racist
comments on facebook insulting Egyptians after a return from a vacation in
Egypt in which the local politician said he and friends had been forced to
pay an extra 160 euros or so for their flight from Marsa Alam.
Writing online, the politician described Egyptians as “monkeys descended from Neanderthals” and called them an “embarrassment to civilization”, the Czech News Agency reported after the racist comments were uncovered on Sunday by Hlidacipes.org.
Ústí governor Oldřich Bubeníček, also of the Communist Party, said the comments were his deputy’s private matter; ČTK was not able to get a hold of Mr Komínek for comment. The words in question have since been deleted.
The Christian Democrats have described a proposal by the Pirate party for
the opposition to head all of the parliamentary committees as
“inadequate”. The Pirates had suggested the move in return for possible
support for an ANO-led minority government. The proposal was also
criticized by ANO, led by Andrej Babiš. The Christian Democrats said the
opposition should also head the parliamentary commission overseeing the
secret service as a tool, party chairman Pavel Bělobrádek said, for
After the weekend, it remains unclear, some politicians suggested, who will be favourable to the emerging government and who will be against. Mr Babiš is trying to form a minority government with members of his party, ANO, as well as experts, who he hopes will find backing in the lower house.
Heavy snowfall on Sunday night and Monday morning complicated traffic in
some parts of the country. Around five centimetres of snow fell overnight
in the Šumava mountains and in the Vysočina region.
Jeseníky Mountains in the north east of the country saw around ten centimetres of fresh snow and further snowfall is expected during the day.
Some 397 tonnes of foodstuffs were donated during the Czech Republic’s
fifth National Food Drive on Saturday, which is 70 tonnes more than in the
previous year, organisers from the Business for Society platform have
Some 750 shops, including stores owned by major chains such as Tesco and Lidl, took part in the event in which members of the public donated non-perishable foodstuffs for redistribution to those in need. This year, more than 4,000 volunteers and shop staff took part in the collection.