Czech president rebukes police raid on Prague's Vietnamese market

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Czech President Vaclav Klaus said the recent police intervention at the SAPA Vietnamese market in Prague was extreme and ineffective, president advisor Ladislav Jakl relayed to the telecast Nova last Sunday.

Such dramatic interventions shouldn't substitute for regular market inspections, even if the public don't support the mundane daily checks, Jakl said.

The advisor also said Klaus isn't pleased with the blocking of visas for Vietnamese citizens, adding that the president has written to relevant interior and foreign ministers on the matter. On November 21, the Czech Embassy in Hanoi had announced on its website it would suspend granting entry visas to Vietnamese citizens until the end of the year.

Vietnamese students in the Czech Republic have organized a petition against the police action, saying authorities had exaggerated the severity of the situation to play up to the media.

To take control of a particular area, authorities needed to mobilize a certain quantity of forces and use suitable means, foreigner affairs police chief Vladislav Husak said.

The management of SAPA market said it does not object to the raid, but disagrees with the excessive methods police employed even though it wants to expel dishonest vendors who sell illegal and counterfeit goods.

Some 1,000 police officials and inspectors participated in the raid on November 22, news agency CKT reported, adding that a helicopter, an armored car and scout dogs were also present at the scene.

Source: Agencies

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