Czechia fears conflict between Roma minority and Ukrainian refugees

Authorities have so far not confirmed that the stabbing of a Roma is Ukrainian

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Magyar Nemzet
Emergency Situations Department employees talk to wheelchair user Katia, who is a 90-year-old refugee from Ukraine at the Romanian-Ukrainian border, in Siret, Romania, Saturday, March 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

Roma and Ukrainian refugees have clashed in the Czech Republic after a Ukrainian man was accused of murdering a member of the Roma community. Prague fears that violent protests could erupt due to similar tensions between the communities on several occasions this summer.

Nicolas Dirda was traveling on a train in the Czech Republic on June 10 when he was stabbed. Police have not confirmed that a Ukrainian refugee was behind the killing.

However, the case has provoked a strong outcry from the Roma community in the Czech Republic, which numbers around 250,000, who have resorted to violence.

The minority group also complains that Ukrainian refugees have been provided with housing, care and school places by the state since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine.

Roma living in the ghettos believe that the narrative of the populist political opposition, which sees government support for Ukrainian refugees as coming at the expense of local people, is a major contributor to the discrimination against them.

According to the United Nations (UN), there are currently around 350,000 Ukrainian refugees in the Czech Republic who have sought refuge from the war.

The escalating situation has not gone unnoticed by the Czech government.

“We recognize the need for urgent action in the current tense and delicate situation,” said Government Commissioner for Roma Lucie Fukova. She added that a working group had been set up to tackle the problem of prejudice-based violence.

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