Romani people are not the only targets for violence in Czech society – the recent deterioration in the societal atmosphere is also being felt by homeless people. The assault on two homeless people in Olomouc this past Monday is not the only such recent crime, and hatred against homeless people is on the rise. Let’s look at some of the cases from this year.
The two attacks committed against homeless people in Olomouc this past Monday brought the number of such attacks in that town this year to four. The incidents took place late Sunday night and early Monday morning in the Bezručový sady park in Olomouc and are being investigated by police. They took place in a broken-down greenhouse where the homeless people were residing.
A 31-year-old man bleeding from the head sought the assistance of municipal patrol officers after midnight. “He said he had been assaulted in his sleep in Bezručový sady by two men unknown to him. After that a 48-year-old man from Olomouc turned up and reported he had also been assaulted by two men in his sleep whom he claimed wanted to burn down the entire greenhouse,” said Olomouc Police spokesperson Magda Václavíková.
Václavíková said police found burning cardboard at the scene of the attack, which they put out. “Emergency medical responders were called to the scene and the injured man was transferred into their care. We are investigating the whole incident,” she said.
Last week four men attacked a homeless man on Svoboda Avenue in Olomouc. The victim suffered bruising and cuts. Police have apprehended suspects, reportedly thanks to the town’s CCTV system. The men are said to have attacked the homeless man because he allegedly bothered them.
At the end of May, police in Olomouc intervened on Dolní Square, where they found a 45-year-old man bleeding with numerous bruises whose eyes had been assaulted with pepper spray. They later apprehended a young suspect who confessed to the attack. The homeless man ended up in the operating room with a serious head injury.
Petr Princ, the head of the Samaritans at Caritas Olomouc, told Deník.cz that “the mood in society is getting more tense. All homeless people who turn to us have our help and our trust. We are doing our work continually and systematically.”
In Ústí nad Labem on 25 June, the Hotel Máj, usually occupied by about 10 homeless people, was burned down. It was the second extensive blaze to occur in the devastated building during the past month. By all indications someone has been setting the hotel on fire intentionally. There was almost nothing left to destroy in it; all eight floors caught fire.