On March 12, approximately 500 right-wing extremists and roughly 200 counter-demonstrators gathered in the Czech town of Nový Bydžov. The police forced the counter-demonstrators out of the way of the march using horses, firecrackers and night sticks. According to the news service Romea.cz, one person suffered contusions to his foot during the intervention.
The way Czech Police handled last week's far-right Workers' Social Justice Party (Dělnická strana sociální spravedlnosti - DSSS) party's march has caused an outrcy from human rights activists and organizations.
As Romea.cz reports, "Amnesty International is alarmed by the Police approach and calls for an investigation of the intervention."
The Police of the Czech Republic failed to ensure protection for three Roma people who were attacked by supporters of the extreme right after a demonstration by the Workers' Social Justice Party (Dělnická strana sociální spravedlnosti - DSSS) in Nový Bydžov on 12 March. Police also used disproportionate force against counter-demonstrators gathered under the rubric of the Nový Bydžov is not alone! Initiative, which did its best to block the DSSS march.
The Romea civic association is outraged and demands that the police Inspectorate investigate the proportionality of the police intervention. The civil society members of the Czech Government Inter-ministerial Commission for Roma Community Affairs also demand a proper investigation.
Police say they are reviewing video tapes of the demonstration and still investigating the attack on a Roma man who was allegedly waylaid by 13 right-wing extremists once the rally was over. The victim was rendered unconscious.
(Photo credit: Romea.cz)