On November 8, 1997, around 2,30 A.M.
two skinheads attacked a Sudanese man at a disco at Biskupcova 3, in the
Prague 3 district. Shouting racist slogans, they threatened to kill him.
He tried to run away from them and hide in the Jarov dormitories, but was
pursued by one of the skinheads. Finding another Sudanese in a corridor,
the skinhead stabbed a student of the Economic Faculty twice in the abdomen.
The Sudanese student died as a result of this attack. His compatriot suffered
deep cuts to his hands.
Police charged the main perpetrator with racially-motivated murder on
the same day. One day later his companion was charged with a criminal offence
under paragraph 196/2 of the Criminal Code. Initially both were investigated
in detention. One of them was later released by the court. The Prague Municipal
Court sentenced the main perpetrator to 14 1/2 years imprisonment and his
partner to 7 1/2 months in prison. Both have appealed the sentence. Leaving
Java restaurant just a short time after the end of a court hearing, the
skinhead who received the lesser sentence was approached and bullied by
a group of approximately sixteen skinheads. He was repeatedly punched in
the head and kicked in the stomach. He ended up in Vinohrady Hospital with
minor injuries. In questioning by police, he claimed he was attacked by
punkers and Sharpskins.
The Appeal Court shortened the main perpetrator's sentence by one year
and gave the lesser sentence three years probation.
Since the violent death of Sudanese student Hassan
Elamin Abdelradi, 242 racially- or ideologically-motivated crimes have
been reported - 185 of them violent. More than 203 people were attacked
in the cases monitored.
More than 357 perpetrators were registered as involved in these attacks,
many of them on several occassions.
These figures are far from complete, as experience shows that we learn
of many cases after some time, and in some cases, after several years delay.
At least two other people were killed.
February 1998 - 11 p.m. - at least two skinheads attacked a 26-year-old
Roma mother of four, Helena Bihariova, in Vrchlabi. Calling her "black
swine", "black whore", and "stinking dirt" they attacked her, beat and
kicked her, and pushed her into the Labe River. A 48-year-old female journalist
tried to help her out but Helena Bihariova drowned afer a twenty-minute
struggle. Her body was only recovered after two days search.
The Czech Radio reporter, who tried to help was saved and taken to an
intensive care unit.
Police investigators charged three suspects with causing bodily harm
with racial motive and all three have been detained. One of them was released
after several days and cleared of the charges. Eight days after this attack
the charge was changed to racially-motivated murder. On June 23, 1998 the
state prosecutor accused both of the criminal offence of extortion with
deadly result along paragraph 235/1,3 of the Criminal Code in combination
with disturbing the peace and conspiracy.
On September 29, 1998 the Regional Court in Hradec Kralove sentenced
one of the men to 8 1/2 years and the second to 6 1/2 years in prison.
May 17,1998 in Orlova - Lutyne a group of skinheads, aged between sixteen
and twenty, attacked first verbally and then physically three Roma, who
were coming from the U Malky restaurant twenty minutes after midnight.
The Roma tried to escape and were pursued by four skinheads. A 40-year-old
Roma, Milan Lacko, was left lying in the middle of the road after the attack,
suffering from punches and kicks. Several minutes later he was run over
by a lorry whose driver did not stop. Five to ten minutes later he was
run over by second car, though he was most probably already dead.
On October 26, 1998 a District Court in Karvina sentenced the young
perpetrators for the criminal offence of attempting minor bodily harm to
The vast majority of perpetrators declare themselves
to be skinheads. In many cases they are members of organized groups like
Bohemia Hammer Skins or Patriotic Front. Attacks are made mostly by larger
groups of people against individuals or pairs. In many cases, attacks target
small children. On at least four occassions the perpetrators have been
identified as policemen or army personnel.
Most of the attacks target Roma citizens or those believed by attackers
to be Roma. We have recorded 107 cases, 23 of which were against the homes
of Roma families. In at least 3 cases Molotov cocktails were used against
Roma homes. At least 18 attacks were aimed against foreigners. In six cases
a firearm was used and in at least 7 cases those attacked were stabbed
At least 10 of the skinhead attacks were motivated ideologically. In
5 cases attackers acted against people whom they believed were Jews. In
at least 6 cases large groups of skinheads attacked antiracist demonstrations.
In 8 cases the perpetrators attacking Romas were not skinheads. In two
of these attacks a firearm was used.
We have recorded:
In 1995, the Justice Ministry issued a ruling to all Prosecutor's Offices
ordering the obligatory special reporting procedure for criminal offences
with racial or chauvinistic motivation. The last such summary report from
the Ministry from May 1998 registers 93 such cases between January 1 and
May 18. The Documentation Center For Human Rights during the same period
recorded 54 more cases.
at least 7 cases of racially-motivated violence against children.
22 cases of racially-motivated violence with Romani perpetrators. In 8
of these cases the victims were policemen.
at least three cases are of large group fights between skinheads and Roma.
13 cases of threatenning with killikng or brutality.
at least three cases of Roma or foreigners not being allowed into restaurants
because of the colour of their skin.
at least 20 cases of perpetrators publicly advocating racism or fascism
without using physical violence. At least 18 large neo-Nazi or racist meetings
were organized in the Czech Republic, sometimes with many hundreds of skinheads
Police began investigating at least 7 cases of publishing printed materials
advocating hatred against other nationalities, races or groups.
The police have not - with one exception - acted against organizers
or participants of neo-Nazi gatherings. The police chief of Rakovnik, who
ordered policemen to prevent neo-Nazis' access to their meeting in Kolesovice
by not letting them out of the Rakovnik railway station is now being charged
with a criminal investigation for misusing the powers of his office.
At the beginning of 1998, the Government, Parliament and the Senate
approved a report from the Interior Ministry on activities of state organs
in pursuing criminal offences with racial or xenophobic motives or perpetrated
by extremist groups' sympathizers, despite the fact that this report is
inaccurate and distorts the facts in many ways, clearly having been based
on insufficient information.
Proposed steps to be taken by the Office of the
Czech Republic Government:
To prepare a grant for education against intolerance and human rights violations.
To prepare a grant for the re-education of perpetrators sentenced for racially-
or ideologically-motivated crimes.
To finish the analysis of all 1472 documented cases of racially- or ideologcally-motivated
To reopen investigation into such cases where some doubt exists as to the
correctness of the previous investigation.
To require police to keep full reports on the perpetrators and all relevant
matters in the case files.
To propose personnel changes that would concern those state employees (police,
investigators, prosecutors, judges) who have of their own accord not fulfilled
their legal obligations in these cases.
To create a clear policy on the application of the law on racially-motivated
criminal acts. For instance - to apply paragraph 260/2 of the Criminal
Code against the meeting organizers and the publishers of magazines with
clearly racist orientation.
To prepare a report on the activities of the department against right-wing