Why have Ukrainian and Roma minorities in Czechia been clashing?

Photo: Zuzana Jarolímková, iROZHLAS.cz

Recently there have been a lot of Czech media reports about tensions and conflicts between the Roma and Ukrainian refugee communities in the country. In early June, a young Roma man was stabbed in Brno, according to unverified reports by a Ukrainian national, and died afterwards as a result of his injuries. The attack prompted a wave of anti-Ukrainian reactions and protest marches in Brno and other cities demanding increased security for Roma people. Further incidents, protests, and rumours followed, prompting the Czech Interior Minister to call on those affected not to allow themselves to be manipulated into prejudice and hatred.

Roma organisations appealed to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to call on Ukrainian refugees to respect diversity and refrain from violence, and to the Czech police and Interior Ministry to thoroughly investigate the incidents and bring the perpetrators to justice. Meanwhile other leading Roma public figures condemned the anti-Ukrainian protests and the spread of misinformation.

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Author: Anna Fodor