Tension between Roma and Ukrainians in Brno Has Receded, Say Representatives
Tensions between the Roma community and the Ukrainians rose after an incident near the Brno Dam before one of the Ignis Brunensis displays. Photo credit: KB / BD.
Brno, June 27 (CTK) – The tension that arose between Brno’s Roma and Ukrainian minorities after the killing of a Roma youth during the Ignis Brunensis fireworks festival two weeks ago has subsided, said representatives of the two groups after a meeting yesterday.
They met representatives of the City of Brno, the South Moravian Region and NGOs, as well as the Government Commissioner for Human Rights Klara Simackova Laurencikova. The Government Commissioner for Roma Minority Affairs, Lucie Fukova, was also present.
“We all agreed that we see the situation calming down and stabilising, and the police representatives present confirmed this,” said Simackova Laurencikova. “We appreciated the fact that it was possible to organise a dignified commemorative farewell to the victim of the tragic incident.”
Tensions between the Roma community and the Ukrainians rose after an incident near the Brno Dam before one of the Ignis Brunensis displays, in which a young Roma man died. According to unconfirmed reports, the attacker was Ukrainian, though police have only officially said that he was a foreign national. The suspect is in custody.
Ilnara Dudasova, head of the Ukrainian Initiative of South Moravia, confirmed the calming of emotions between the two groups. “After this incident, we feel a calming of emotions, but the Ukrainian minority continues to be frightened because anti-Ukrainian sentiments are appearing more and more often in society,” she said.
In mid-June, about 1,000 people, based on the police estimates, gathered in the area in front of Brno’s Janacek Theater to commemorate the young man’s death, even though the original demonstration had been cancelled. Instead of the planned peaceful gathering, the memorial service was held in the spirit of an anti-government demonstration, with some present criticising the government’s attitude towards refugees who fled from Ukraine to escape Russian aggression.
Jozef Daniel, director of the Brno Team initiative, which organised the rally, rejected the principle of collective guilt for Ukrainians.