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Czech Politicians 'Playing Card of Xenophobia' Amid Refugee Crisis

© AFP 2021 / RADEK MICAAnti-migrants protesters hold banners reading 'Stop Immigration' on June 26, 2015 in Brno, Czech Republic during an anti-Islam and immigration rally
Anti-migrants protesters hold banners reading 'Stop Immigration' on June 26, 2015 in Brno, Czech Republic during an anti-Islam and immigration rally - Sputnik International
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Czech politicians are "playing the card of xenophobia" amid the refugee crisis, and are not explaining the current situation to the public properly, the director of the Czech Organization for Aid to Refugees (OPU) told Sputnik.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – According to a survey carried out by the UK-based Populus research and strategy consultancy exclusively for Sputnik, 62 percent of respondents living in Hungary, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Poland oppose taking refugees in, while only 26 percent support the idea.

"Our politicians are playing the card of xenophobia, and they do not explain who the refugees are, who the migrants are, why the refugees from Syria arrive… They rather play the card of xenophobia and that’s the basic mistake," Martin Rozumek said.

Refugees collect clothes, brought by residents of the neighborhood, outside the Schuttersveld Sports Centre designed as emergency shelter in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, on October 9, 2015 - Sputnik International
Czech Leader Condemns Migrants for Exploiting Kids to Stay in Europe
According to Rozumek, media are not covering the situation well, giving "too much space for xenophobic politicians."

Over 710,000 migrants arrived in the European Union during the first nine months of 2015, according to the EU border agency Frontex.

Last week, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad Hussein slammed the Czech Republic for systematic refugee rights violations and condemned Czech President Milos Zeman for giving xenophobic and Islamophobic speeches.

In September, the EU interior ministers approved a plan proposed by the European Commission to redistribute some 160,000 refugees throughout the bloc based on a quota system. The quotas have been strongly opposed by several EU states, including the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and Hungary.

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