Ethnic tensions flare in Brno after murder of 23-year-old Roma

The perpetrator is said to be Ukrainian, and a small protest yesterday in Brno led to a separate attack on two Ukrainians. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 13.06.2023 15:42:00 (updated on 13.06.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

The Brno Municipal Court has today remanded a 37-year-old man, believed to be Ukrainian, on suspicion of murdering a man of Roma ethnic origin and injuring two others. Tensions rose in the city Monday night after a clash involving other Roma in the center of Brno.

A 23-year-old was stabbed on Saturday night after an alleged argument involving several people near a tramp stop in Brno-Bystrc. The perpetrator allegedly did not like the music the group was listening to. The attacker was detained instantly and is in custody. Police have not revealed his country of origin, but said the detainee was a foreigner; reports on social media suggest he is Ukrainian.

A demonstration called “Safe Brno” will take place this Saturday afternoon in Czechia's second-largest city. Government Commissioner for Roma Minority Affairs Lucie Fuková has appealed to Czechia’s Roma community, urging calm.

“I am very sorry for the young life that was taken in Brno on Saturday in a violent attack. I express my sincere condolences to all the relatives. Violence must not breed more violence,” she tweeted Monday. The Romea organization, which represents all Roma people in Czechia, has also condemned the attack and urged no further violence.

On Monday evening, around 20 people congregated near the Church of St. Michael in the center of Brno, with some throwing chairs. “A group of about 15 angry people allegedly attacked two Ukrainians and also started demolishing the equipment of the adjacent garden. About five police cars with crews were present," Brno city representative Adam Zemek wrote on Facebook.


  • An estimated 250,000 Roma live in Czechia
  • Around 85 percent of young Czechs see living with Roma people as "problematic."
  • Almost half (48 percent) of the Czech Roma community has experienced discrimination in the country.

    Sources: European Commission, iRozhals,

Interior Minister Vít Rakušan has called on people to refrain from violence and generalization following the attack of one individual. 

In April 2009, a group of neo-Nazis carried out an arson attack on a house in Vítkov inhabited by a Roma family. Three people suffered burns as a result of the attack, including a two-year-old girl. This February, Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatovičová said that Roma in the Czech Republic "continue to face discrimination in almost all aspects of life."

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