Czech boy admits making up story about Roma attack

By • on May 25, 2012

Police have now concluded that a Czech teenager lied about being attacked by a group of Roma, in a case that spurred anti-Romani demonstrations, the Czech News Agency reports. Last month, the 15-year-old boy from Breclav, southern Moravia, said three Roma had asked him for cigarettes, and when he told them he had none, beat him so badly he was hospitalized and lost a kidney.

The story spread quickly through the media and fueled anti-Romani feelings after severalattacks by Romani youths elsewhere in the country. About 2,000 people, including far-right extremists, staged a rally in Breclav. Pop singer Michal David gave a benefit concert and raised 100,000 crowns ($4,900) to help pay the boy’s medical expenses.

Police could not confirm the boy’s version of events, however. On 23 May police said  the boy had failed a polygraph test and admitted he fell from a balcony while demonstrating a gymnastics move to friends and made up the attack story for fear of upsetting his mother.

Writing in the daily Mlada fronta Dnes, journalist Patrik Banga commented on the speed with which some media jumped to conclusions without any evidence beyond the boy’s story.