Organiser Calls Off Brno Demonstration Over Killing of Roma Man

Saturday’s incident sparked outrage and anti-Ukrainian sentiment in some parts of the Roma community. Photo credit: Freepik.

Brno, June 15 (CTK) – Organiser Zaneta Plachetkova has called off the demonstration in Brno planned for this Saturday, related to the weekend’s fatal stabbing of a young Roma man at the Brno Dam, according to news server Plachetkova wrote in a statement on Facebook that the planned event had been hijacked by the wrong people.

On Saturday, before the fireworks display at the Ignis Brunensis festival at the Brno Dam, a 37-year-old foreigner, apparently a Ukrainian, stabbed two people. One Roma youth subsequently died in hospital. The incident sparked outrage and anti-Ukrainian sentiment in some parts of the Roma community.

Plachetkova wrote that she wanted to spread the word that there was no collective guilt and that the case should be fairly investigated. “Only the wrong people have seized on it and twisted the whole event. I am afraid that if the demonstration had taken place, there would have been fatal consequences,” Plachetkova said.

Ombudsman Krecek told CTK yesterday that he is watching with concern the wave of hatred provoked by Saturday’s incident.

“I feel sincere sympathy for the family of the young man who was killed and I expect a fair punishment for the attacker,” Krecek said, adding that a violent end to a human life is always an incredible personal and family tragedy.

“This should be kept in mind by all those who judge an assault solely through the lens of the nationality of the attacker and the ethnicity of the victim,” Krecek said. “Such shortcuts have unfortunately become more and more a general part of the thinking in our society in recent times. I would therefore like to ask people not to contribute to increasing general tensions in society with such ill-considered statements or rash activist actions.” 

The suspect was arrested on Saturday, and the court remanded him in custody on Tuesday.

The tragic incident has sparked outrage and an anti-Ukrainian reaction among some Roma, resonating primarily on social media. The IQ Roma organisation is trying to defuse the tensions, asking Roma people to remember that this is the act of one person and it is not possible to condemn an ​​entire group.

Both the attacks and the principle of collective guilt have also been condemned by well-known Roma personalities such as Jaroslav Miko, Karel Karika, and the Government Commissioner for the Roma Minority Affairs, Lucie Fukova.

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