Hate on the Rise
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On July 13th, 2009, Canada reintroduced visa requirements on Czechs after the country of 10 million became the second biggest source for refugee claims after Mexico. In the past year, thousands of visa applications have been received from Roma who point to persecution in the Czech Republic. In April and May two separate Molotov cocktail attacks targeted Roma families in small localities across the country, in one case causing severe injuries to a two-year-old girl. Clashes between extremists, supported by anti-Roma residents, and the police also took place last year in the now ill-famed Janov housing estate in Litvinov in the northern Czech Republic, heavily inhabited by Roma. Our latest Mundi Romani reportage provides an insight into the current situation of Roma in the Czech Republic and in Hungary, where extreme nationalism is also on the rise, with tragic consequences for both countries’ biggest minority. We ask ministers and activsts, EU officials and street demonstrators, social workers and hip hop artists. A unique picture of Central Europe in a time of serious social crisis, seen through the eyes of the Roma.