Czech mayor proclaims zero tolerance towards homeless and foreign workers

In his preelection campaign, Raduan Nwelati, mayor of Mladá Boleslav, pleads for more policemen and stricter laws to punish foreign workers who act in an “inappropriate manner.”

Sofija Kordic
Sofija Kordic NewsMavens, Czechia
Czech mayor proclaims zero tolerance towards homeless and foreign workers - NewsMavens
Raduan Nwelati, 2012, Wikimedia Commons

Why this story matters:

Two policemen were put on a trial last autumn for torturing homeless people in the Czech city of Mladá Boleslav. Two days before the trial, city Mayor Raduan Nwelati awarded a medal to one of the accused policemen for their faithful service to the city. The city itself paid for the trial costs, and the chief of the police served as a witness for the defense, and said that the whole process was a “conspiracy and revenge by homeless people.”

The author of the article recommended below, after thorough investigation, discovered that the case being tried was not an isolated incident, but rather a planned policy to “cleanse” city of homeless people.

One homeless individual them told the journalist that policemen threw him into lake while he was drunk. As a result of this incident he had to have one leg amputated, and the second one was permanently damaged.

Homeless people are not the only target of the police officers in Mladá Boleslav. Next in line are foreign workers of the “Skoda” company, mainly from Poland. There are reported cases of workers being beaten just for sitting on a bench drinking alcohol. 

Mayor Nwelati, in his current preelection bid, asks for “harsh and uncompromising ways to punish every foreign worker who acts in an inappropriate manner.” But if the community does not address the root cause of homelessness or the hardships experienced by foreign workers, existiting issues will not remain -- if not worsen.

Details from the story:

  • The father of the mayor of Mladá Boleslav comes from Syria. Ironically enough, on the eve of local and Senat elections, his son’s rhetoric is openly xenophobic, and mainly aimed at foreign workers who work under unfavorable contracts.
  • Skoda should bear responsibility as well and take into account that it employs almost half of the city's inhabitants, and imports a significant labour force.
  • Skoda takes no measures to mitigate the consequences of the influx of this large number of employees in the small city. 
  • Mayor Nwelati is the member of the ODS, Civic Democratic Party, a liberal conservative party.
  • The two policemen were sentenced to four and three and a half years of probation, but the Prague County Court revoked the verdict and returned the case to the Mladá Boleslav District Court.

Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
Is something happening in your country that Newsmavens should cover?
Zuzanna Ziomecka
Zuzanna Ziomecka EDITOR IN CHIEF
Lea Berriault-Jauvin
Lea Berriault Managing Editor
Jessica Sirotin
Jessica Sirotin EDITOR
Ada Petriczko
Ada Petriczko EDITOR
Gazeta Wyborcza, Agora SA Czerska 8/10 00-732, Warsaw Poland
The e-mail addresses provided above are not intended for recruitment purposes. Messages concerning recruitment will be deleted immediately. Your personal data provided as part of your correspondence with Zuzanna,Lea, Jessica and Ada will be processed for the purpose of resolving the issue you contacted us about. The data provided in your email is controlled by Agora S.A. with its registered office in Warsaw Czerska 8/10 Street (00-732). You can find more information about the processing and protection of your personal data at