Czechs hike police to curb extremists

July 29, 2009 at 1:34 PM
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PRAGUE, Czech Republic, July 29 (UPI) -- Czech Interior Minister Martin Pecina says he will introduce additional police patrols to curb incidents provoked by ultra-right extremists.

After his meeting with Czech President Vaclav Klaus in Prague Wednesday, Pecina told reporters the so-called risky areas need more police to prevent assaults on Czech Gypsies, or Romanies as they are formally called, Prague Radio reported.

The Czech government has voiced its concern over the rising number of racially motivated incidents in the past year when neo-Nazi and far-right nationalist groups attacked several areas inhabited by Romanies.

The rise of nationalist extremism triggered a surge in the number of Czech Romanies fleeing the Czech Republic this year complaining about discrimination and seeking asylum in Canada, the report said.

It prompted Canada to impose entry visa requirements for Czech citizens two weeks ago.

The Czech Interior Ministry said it will make another effort and ask a court to ban the far-right Workers' party, whose members in May demonstrated in the streets of Prague shouting anti-Gypsy and racist slogans.

A superior court had said the ministry did not provide enough evidence for banning the small group of extremists.

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