The Czech Interior Ministry has granted asylum to eight Chinese Christians seeking protection in the country on the grounds of religious persecution. The requests of seventy other applicants were rejected. A lawyer representing the group of Chinese Christians has said she will advise them to appeal the decision.
Czech police on Friday stopped two lorries carrying 35 foreigners,
including 13 children, on the D5 motorway heading towards the main western
border crossing with Germany at Rozvadov. According to police spokeswoman
Veronika Horková, the lorries came from Romania through Hungary and
The migrants, who most likely come from Eastern Europe, were placed in a detention centre and will be questioned to determine whether they have asked for asylum anywhere in Europe. The drivers of the lorries have also been detained on suspicion of people smuggling.
Klára Skřivánková is UK and Europe Programme Manager for Anti-Slavery International, which describes itself as the world’s oldest human rights organisation. Skřivánková is an expert on human trafficking and frequently gives court testimony in modern slavery cases. When we spoke at Anti-Slavery’s offices in London, the conversation took in various forms of modern slavery, what can be done to combat it and what companies should do if they discover forced labour in their supply chains.
The Czech Republic has been described as a flawed democracy in the
Economist Intelligence Unit’s latest Democracy Index.
The country was placed 34th in a list of 167 countries in the survey whose performance for 2017 was rated. It’s score fell to 7.62 points from 7.82 points in 2016, its worst place in a decade. The overall fall for countries in Central Europe was highlighted.
The report is subtitled – Freedom of Speech in danger. It coincides with a row at public service broadcaster Czech Radio in which the station’s general director has objected to aspects of a report by station journalists which revealed how prime minister’s Andrej Babiš’ Agrofert company gained subsidies for farming land it did not own.
Warnings of increased pressure on public service media have also accompanied the re-election of president Miloš Zeman.
The Czech government will send some 225 million crowns (nearly nine million
euros) to the EU Trust Fund for Africa. The proposal was made by Interior
Minister Lubomír Metnar and approved by the cabinet on Wednesday. The
Czech donation should be used in Libya to improve medical services and ease
the return of immigrants to the country. The money should be delivered to
Libya by the end of February.
The EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa was established at the EU summit in Malta in 2015 to tackle the EU’s biggest ever migration crisis. The Czech Republic has previously donated more than 42 million crowns (around 1.6 million euros) to the fund.
Jiří Drahoš, challenger to incumbent president Miloš Zeman in the
second round of presidential elections, has stated that while he is against
a dictate from Brussels regarding the number of migrants the Czech Republic
should accept, he feels that the country is strong enough, both from the
administrative and security aspects, to take in a certain amount of
Mr. Drahoš made the statement in an interview for Novinky.cz. The incumbent president has a strong anti-migrant stance.
“Adopt a Doll, Save a life” is a project launched by the Czech branch of UNICEF fifteen years ago. Over that time it has helped to save the lives of some 30,000 children. Ahead of the Christmas holidays the Czech mission to the United Nations and the Czech branch of UNICEF brought the project to New York, organizing a charity auction at the National Bohemian Hall. I asked the head of the Czech branch of UNICEF Pavla Gomba to tell me more about the event and the project itself.
The newly-elected Czech prime minister, Andrej Babiš, went to the EU summit in Brussels with two priorities uppermost in mind: defending the country’s anti-migrant stance and gaining more allies in the block. However neither his arguments nor a financial pledge of 220 million euros in aid of the migrant crisis helped him to avert the threat of legal action from Brussels.
Czech, Hungarian, Polish and Slovak representatives have signed a four-year
project that aims to improve the conditions of thousands of small farmers
in Kenya and contribute to dealing with the causes of illegal migration.
The chief manager of the project, worth 14 million euros in total, is the state-run Slovak Agency for International Developmental Cooperation. The project should support 15,000 farmers on the coast of Kenya.
The Czech University of Life Sciences and the Czech branch of the Fairtrade organization will represent the Czech Republic in the project.
Snowboarder Ester Ledecká wins surprise gold in Olympic super-G
My father, the RAF hero who defected from Czechoslovakia in a daring triple-hijack
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1945 – 28th Segment: “Beer Barrel Polka”