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Právo: Authorities summon woman who helps refugees in Greece

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Prague, April 19 (CTK) – Czech Eva Zahradnickova has focused on helping refugees, mainly in Greece, in the past months, while the Czech authorities recently summoned her to explain her alleged neglect of her own children at home, daily Pravo writes on Tuesday.

Zahradnickova, 41, says her efforts to help refugees, most recently in the Greek Idomeni camp near the Macedonian border, have caused troubles to her.

Earlier this year, her Muslim boyfriend was stabbed by two assailants in Prague. At present, she faces problems with Czech authorities due to her activities, the daily writes.

The child welfare authority (OSPOD) in her home district in the Moravian capital Brno suspects her of neglecting her own children as a result of her activities in support of refugees, the paper says.

Zahradnickova has four offspring. Her oldest son is of age and lives separately. Of the remaining three kids, two are schoolchildren and one attends a kindergarten.

Zahradnickova told Pravo that OSPOD summoned her “for explanation” last week. When she turned up in the OSPOD office, she was surprised at the clerks criticising her for helping refugees.

They said “the problem is that while caring for refugees, I have no time to devote to my own children,” Zahradnickova is quoted as saying.

She said she tried to oppose the clerks saying that similarly, they should demand an explanation from the mothers who are career-seekers and spend weekends at work, Pravo writes.

“The clerk told me that I stayed for a month in Idomeni last time. I said I spent only a few days there and, in addition, I took my children along with me,” Zahradnickova said.

She told Pravo that she never spent more than three days in Idomeni, also for her children’s sake. She always takes items donated by Czechs for humanitarian purposes to Greece and returns homes immediately.

“The official told me that she studied the media articles about me and she finds my activities are unfavourable for my children…She told me that she will come to see us in our flat on Thursday,” Zahradnickova said.

She said she wonders how the situation will develop now that she keeps a pile of gathered humanitarian aid at home.

Zahradnickova says the OSPOD launched the action at the initiative of one of its workers. She protests against the accusation of helping refugees at the costs of her family. On the contrary, she feels that her activities have brought her family closer together, she says, cited by Pravo.

“Instead of each gazing at our computer screen, we have jointly sorted tonnes of clothes,” Zahradnickova said.

Addressed by Pravo, OSPOD officials would not comment on the case.

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