2 Czechs receive prison terms for arson attack on house occupied by Roma

Two Czech men have been convicted of a racially-motivated attempted murder in an arson attack on an apartment building occupied by Roma and sentenced to six years and nine months in prison.

David Ungr, spokesman for the regional court in the western city of Plzen, says the pair threw firebombs at the building in the western town of As, located near the border with Germany, in 2012.

The court ruled Monday that Tomas Kopecky and Michal Polacek, who belonged to neo-Nazi groups, attacked the house because Roma, or Gypsies, lived there. The inhabitants managed to extinguish the fire and nobody was injured. They can still appeal.

The 250,000 Roma who live in the Czech Republic endure high unemployment rates and are often targeted by far-right groups.