Prague hospital becomes focus for Romanian Roma vigil
Prague has become the focus of attention for hundreds of Romanians as they follow the fight for life of a 17-year old boy. Many have travelled to the Czech capital to be nearer the hospital where he is being cared for and have set up camp at sites around the city.
News of the accident has drawn hundreds of relatives and well wishers to Prague to be nearer their “prince” who has been on life support in the hospital. His condition is still critical and his chances of survival are given at a bit better than 50-50.
Many of the Romanian Roma, however, have nowhere to stay in the Czech capital and little money to support their stay. Czech Roma activist Štefan Ličartovský helped to collect money to put around 100 of them temporarily up at a Prague camp site. He explained the significance of their vigil.
The influx of the Romanian Roma has not been without its logistic problems with groups now scattered across the city and police keeping a close eye on them. They say they will not leave until the fate of their prince is clear.
“They can bathe there and stay there overnight in tents – it is not banned. They are currently tourists. I would not politicise this and no do anything at all with regard to them. They are tourists and it is a bathing site at Počernice. They are just there as tourists.”
Many of this group have now moved on. And, for the moment at least, Mr Ličartovský’s plea that the authorities do not get involved in one way or another is being respected.