Bohuslav Sobotka Urges Theresa May to Protect Europeans

Following the murder of a Czech businessman in London, the Czech PM discussed violence against EU citizens with his UK counterpart

Dave Park

Written by Dave Park Published on 03.10.2016 09:51:40 (updated on 03.10.2016) Reading time: 1 minute

In the months following the Brexit vote in the UK, there have been numerous reports of increasing violence against foreigners.

In the weeks before and after the vote, more than 3,000 reports of hate crimes were made to UK police. Many of the victims have been Eastern Europeans blamed for stealing local jobs.

Last week, 31-year-old Czech national Zdeněk Makar was killed in Poplar, East London, after an altercation at a chicken takeaway shop. 

An autopsy revealed that Makar had died due to head injuries. Three men, aged 16, 19, and 29, were arrested on suspicion of murder.

It was the latest incident in a long string of post-Brexit violence, but the first involving the death of a Czech citizen.

Late last week, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka telephoned his UK counterpart Theresa May to discuss the event, reports The Independent.   

“The Czech government finds it unacceptable to see Czechs attacked because of their origin and being treated as second-class citizens,” Sobotka said.

“Therefore I asked the British prime minister […] to let me know what measures her government will adopt to stop these hateful attacks.”

Following the conversation between Sobotka and May, a Downing Street spokesperson released an official statement.

“The Prime Minister began by offering her sincere condolences for the Czech national killed in London last week,” the statement read.

“She said that while we understood this particular incident was not considered to be a hate crime, the UK government condemned hate crime in the strongest way possible and it had no place in British society.”

There are estimated to be in the range of 40,000 Czech citizens working in the UK. Polish nationals, who have also been targeted by violence, number at more than 800,000. 

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