Czech government expresses regret for illegal sterilizations of Roma women

On Nov. 22, at the instigation of Czech Human Rights Minister Michael Kocáb, the government of the Czech Republic expressed regret over the illegal sterilizations of women that have been performed in the country. Speaking after a cabinet session, Kocáb said a set of measures are being designed to prevent similar cases from recurring with more rigorous standards for assuring informed consent. There are currently no statistics on the number of women who have been harmed by this surgery in the Czech Republic, but activists say dozens of Romani women have undergone forced sterilizations in the Ostrava region. Several institutions have devoted attention to the issue of illegal sterilizations, including Czech ombudsman Otakar Motejl, who has received complaints from approximately 80 women, most of them Roma. (Romea, Prague, Nov. 24)

See our last posts on the Czech Republic and the Roma.

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  1. Another attack on Roma in Czech Republic?
    East Bohemian police in Náchod district are investigating several recent attacks on a Romani family in Kostelec village. The most recent attack evidently occurred on Nov. 17, when someone set fire to a home. In a stroke of luck, the municipal police were driving past at the time and saved the family’s life. “We saw flames blazing from the wooden porch of the house and we woke the people up,” a municipal police patrolman told the press. (Romea, Nov. 21)

  2. Another attack on Roma in Czech Republic
    A Molotov cocktail was thrown into the home of a Romani family in the Bedřiška settlement in the city of Ostrava during the early hours of March 14. No one was injured. Speaking at a press conference, Tomáš Landsfeld, director of the Ostrava police, said that so far there is no reason to believe extremists were behind the attack. The case is being investigated by a special 15-member team as one of reckless endangerment. An unidentified perpetrator threw the Molotov cocktail through the window of a bedroom in which a 14-year-old girl was sleeping. (Romea, March 15)

    “No reason to believe extremists were behind the attack”? Presumably, it wasn’t moderates…