Three MPs have quit Tomio Okamura’s Freedom and Direct Democracy Party.
Lubomír Volný, Marian Bojko and Ivana Nevludová were all elected in the
Moravian Silesian Region. Mr. Volný said the move was in protest at the
fact that the party had allowed racists and neo-Nazis to enter its ranks.
He has rejected a call from Freedom and Direct Democracy to also resign
from his seat in the Chamber of Deputies.
Mr. Volný is a controversial figure who in the past called Václav Havel a traitor, criticised the Erasmus scheme for students and offered to “take outside” a dispute with another MP during a lower house session. Soon after he announced that he would challenge Mr. Okamura for the party chairmanships his local branch was dissolved.
Czech pensioner Jaromír Balda has confessed to cutting down trees that
landed on railroad tracks, causing two train accidents in 2017. Mr. Balda,
who is 71, told the Prague Municipal Court on Monday that he had left
leaflets at the scene bearing fake “jihadist” slogans in order to
discredit migrants, who he referred to as a “horror”.
The pensioner said that he has recovered his wits since being in jail for nearly a year and that he had not intended to hurt anyone. The case is being prosecuted as a terrorist attack and the perpetrator faces up to 15 years in prison if found guilty.
The Indian comedian and actor Vir Das has complained that he and his
parents were repeatedly ignored by staff at Café Café in central Prague.
He wrote on Twitter, where he has over 7.5 million followers, that they had
tried six times to get service but the café did not "really like
serving brown people".
The comedian has since deleted the Tweet in question and said he had heard from the owner of Café Café, who apologised for the behaviour of his staff. The owner told the Czech News Agency that it had been a misunderstanding rather than a racist incident.
The regional court in Tachov has revealed details of the verdict in the
case of a 26-year-old woman charged with hate speech against a mixed class
The woman, who was found guilty of inciting racial hatred on social networks was handed a suspended sentence and fined 20,000 crowns. The verdict may still be appealed.
The woman commented on a class photo of largely Romany, Arab and Vietnamese first-graders in a local school, saying they should all be shot. The incident caused public outrage and the school was given special police protection.
A 26-year-old woman has been found guilty of hate speech on social networks
in connection with hateful comments which appeared under a class photo of
first-graders in a school in Teplice, published in a regional daily just
over a year ago.
Reacting to the mix of Czech, Romany, Vietnamese and Arab children in the group photo, the woman wrote they should all be shot.
Details of the verdict have not yet been released, since all parties involved first need to be informed about it in writing.
The Czech BIS intelligence service has warned of the growing danger of
paramilitary groups, which have around 2,000 members in total, iDnes.cz
reported. BIS says that some such militia groups are attempting to forge
ties with state organisations and members of the national and local police
forces, the news site said.
In its latest report on extremism in the Czech Republic, the Ministry of the Interior writes that some paramilitary groups are xenophobic, racist and fiercely opposed to Czech foreign policy. However, they frequently disguise their ideological leanings and promote “defence education”.
iDnes.cz reported that the groups learn how to handle pistols, knives and other weapons and often believe that the Czech Republic could overnight be flooded with migrants keen to subjugate the local population.
A Prague district court has found Jaroslav Staník, a former member of the
opposition Freedom and Direct Democracy Party (SPD), guilty of hate speech
over statements he made in Parliament about Jews, Roma and gays, Czech
Television reported on Tuesday.
The court issued the respective penal order on Monday, but its spokeswoman Pavla Hájková could not reveal details of the verdict since not all participants in the case had received it in writing.
The court may impose a suspended sentence of up to one year, home confinement, or a fine.
According to eyewitnesses, Stanik said on the premises of the lower house last October that the Roma, Jews and homosexuals should be shot dead at birth.
Jaroslav Staník, a former secretary of the extreme-right opposition
Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) movement, will be tried in court over
statements he made about Jews, Roma and homosexuals.
Staník has been charged with fomenting hatred towards a group of people, infringing upon their rights and freedoms, and denying the Holocaust while calling for genocide. If found guilty, he faces up to three years in prison.
According to eyewitnesses, including fellow MPs, Staník said last October that homosexuals, Roma and Jews should be shot at birth, and called for members of those minority groups to be gassed. He had allegedly been drinking heavily when he made the comments in the restaurant of the lower house of parliament.
The Interior Ministry this week issued its annual report on extremism, in which it says that ultra-right groupings are no longer politically relevant and their agenda has been adopted by the Freedom and Direct Democracy Party (SPD), which however cannot be defined as “extremist”. I spoke to extremism expert Miroslav Mareš, about the gradual seeping of in tolerance into mainstream political parties and why it is that the Freedom and Direct Democracy Party cannot be defined as extremist.