Hundreds of Czech far-right activists detained after anti-Roma protests

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Monday, August 26, 2013

Romani population average estimate - the size of the wheel represents the average estimate of Roma population in that country.
Image: Dbachmann, Derived from: File:Europe_blank_map.png by wiki-vr.
Romani people in Lviv Ukraine.
Image: Водник.

Rallies against the Roma ethnic minority in eight Czech Republic cities Saturday have resulted in 75 to 100 far-right activists being detained.

Violent clashes occurred between police and the demonstrators, some of who threw stones at the police forces. The largest rally occurred in the city of Ostrava where between 600 and 800 protestors attacked the police and at least 60 were detained. Seven other cities, including Prague, saw similar protests.

Amnesty International confirmed that the demonstrations had been planned in advance and warned the Czech Republic government earlier this month.

“We have seen a deeply worrying trend over the past year with entrenched discrimination against Roma reaching new heights. This is a fundamental issue that the Czech authorities can’t ignore,” Amnesty International’s John Dalhuisen said.

There are between 250,000 and 300,000 Roma people within the Czech Republic. The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights conducted a poll in 2011 that found over 80 per cent of the Roma people surveyed had been subject to discrimination in the past year.