Prague, April 18 (CTK) – The number of violent incidents motivated by hatred has slightly increased in the Czech Republic this year, the In Iustitia group says in its quarterly report, adding that it registered 22 in the first quarter, which is five more than last year.
Romanies and Muslims remain the most threatened groups. They faced three hate attacks each this year.
Politicians’ statements stir up xenophobia, In Iustitia says.
A half of the incidents from January to March were physical attacks. However, a number of them has not been verified yet and consequently, the final number might be lower.
Two arson attacks and five cases of intimidation and extortion were registered this year.
Men prevail among the victims of hate violence (12 cases), while women became its target in five cases. The most frequent victims were Czech citizens.
The biggest number of incidents were motivated by political conviction. Other motives were nationality and homelessness.
Hate violence was registered mainly in public areas in cities and on the Internet. Nine attacks were committed in Prague and five in south Moravia.
Racist comments appeared, for instance, in reaction to a leaflet of the international retail chain Lidl featuring a black male model.
President Milos Zeman’s statement that a person from North Africa’s Maghreb suspected of cooperation with terrorist Islamic organisations is staying in the Czech Republic strongly affected the atmosphere in society at the beginning of this year.
Deputy Ombudsman Stanislav Krecek surprisingly called the fight against xenophobia a pretext for censorship, In Iustitia writes in its report.
It also highlights the termination of the HateFree Culture government campaign against racism and hate violence and the EC’s criticism of the Czech Republic for its approach to minorities.