Arsonists arrested, national honour restored

Published on 14 August 2009 at 13:54


Police investigating a racist attack against a Roma family in Vítkov, in the eastern Czech Republic, have arrested 12 suspects. The nine men and three women, who are all members of an extreme-right group could face up to 15 years in jail. The attack on the family, which was widely reported by the media, caused a wave of indignation in the Czech Republic. As Lidové Noviny reports, one of the three people injured, was a two-year-old girl who suffered burns on 80% of her body.

The attack also damaged the reputation of the Czech Republic, which the Prague daily notes appears to be a country where “extremists can freely enter towns and petrol-bomb Roma homes.” In conclusion, journalist Zbyněk Petráček cites reports from the European press that highlight the severity of the response to racist crimes — “with headlines like ‘More severe sentences for racist murderers’ (France) or ‘Three and a half years for attacking a rabbi’ (Germany)” — which he believes “have been sorely lacking” in the Czech Republic.

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