Dec 28, 2023

Ministry of Interior Calls for Cancellation of Municipal Fireworks after Prague Mass Shooting

Czech Interior Minister Vít Rakušan (STAN) urges restraint on New Year’s Eve fireworks following the recent mass shooting at a Prague university.

In a letter to mayors, Rakušan emphasizes the need to avoid escalating trauma in the wake of these incidents.

Mr. Rakušan also called on members of the public limit their use of pyrotechnics this year, extending the plea through social media on the X network.

Olomouc town hall aligns with this sentiment, canceling its New Year’s Eve fireworks display due to the tragic event and the city’s hydrological situation.

In a parallel appeal, experts, including Adam Suchý, a clinical psychologist and representative of the Czech Republic in the Global Psychology Alliance, petition Prime Minister Petr Fiala to curtail pyrotechnics at the national level this year.

Suchý underscores the psychological impact, particularly on survivors and the bereaved, as these explosive sounds may trigger symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety.

It remains to be seen how many municipalities will heed the plea since ultimately the decision on the fireworks displays has been left with the local authorities.

As far as Prague itself is concerned, its central district had already decided to cancel the annual fireworks even before the mass shooting took place on 21 December.

The reasons the local authorities had decided to turn their back on the celebratory displays were in line with the ever more growing concern about the unsustainable and harmful nature of fireworks with regard to the environment and domestic animals.

Fourteen people were killed when a student went on a shooting rampage at Charles University’s Faculty of Arts on December 21. He had earlier shot dead a man and his baby daughter in a woodland near Prague.

The student who killed 14 people in a shooting rampage at Prague’s Faculty of Arts left a letter saying he had also killed a father and his two-month-old daughter in woodland at Klánovice near the capital, the news outlet Deník N reported on Wednesday, saying that the police had found the document last week.

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