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Cablegate: Czech Republic: Osce Human Dimension Progress

VZCZCXRO2238
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSL RUEHSR RUEHVK
RUEHYG
DE RUEHPG #0471 2260701
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 140701Z AUG 09
FM AMEMBASSY PRAGUE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1648
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS PRAGUE 000471

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM KDEM OSCE EZ
SUBJECT: CZECH REPUBLIC: OSCE HUMAN DIMENSION PROGRESS

REF: A. STATE 78227
B. PRAGUE 310

1. (SBU) We delivered reftel points to Deputy Minister
Czeslaw Walek of the Ministry of Human Rights and National
Minorities and to Deputy Minister and Anti-Extremism Task
Force leader Jiri Komorous of the Interior Ministry on July
29. The Ministry of the Interior deferred its response to
the Human Rights Ministry. Deputy Minister Walek said the
USG concerns on several issues are on point. He acknowledged
that the introduction of "practical" schools, following the
European Court of Human Rights decision in 2007 that Roma
were disproportionally and unlawfully assigned to "special"
schools, had not solved this problem. An Education Ministry
study completed in January 2009 made several recommendations
for targeted assistance to support the integration of Roma
students into mainstream education, and Walek considers this
study an important step forward. Walek also said the Human
Rights Ministry hopes to submit a housing plan addressing
socially excluded localities to the government by September.

2. (SBU) Walek said the most worrying extremism cases are
the April firebomb attack that seriously burned a
two-year-old girl in Vitkov, and last November's conflict
between right-wing protesters and police in the Janov housing
estate mostly populated by Roma (reftel B). Only one person
has been charged in the Janov case, and that person was a
Roma, he pointed out. Walek said the Human Rights Ministry
is following up on both cases with the Interior and Justice
Ministries, but for its own part is focusing on the need to
establish ethical and moral standards and have a greater
public dialogue. Note: According to August 13 press
reports, police have now made 12 arrests in the Vitkov arson
attack. The police have not officially confirmed the
arrests. End note.

3. (SBU) The Chamber of Deputies (lower house) gave final
approval to the anti-discrimination law in June 2009 by
overriding the President's veto. The Czech Republic was the
last European Union country to approve the law. Walek
mentioned the law's final approval in his comments.

Thompson-Jones

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