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Crime report filed after Czech politician calls for murder of minorities

20.11.2017 11:22
A campaign billboard for the SPD party of Tomio Okamura, October 2017, which says
A campaign billboard for the SPD party of Tomio Okamura, October 2017, which says "Money for the decent, not for the parasites". (PHOTO: Twitter.com)

News server iDNES.cz reported last week that Jaroslav Staník, the secretary for the Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) movement chaired by Tomio Okamura, has been reported to the state prosecutor on suspicion of criminal activity. Activist Jan Cemper filed the complaint after Staník made remarks about minorities that included calls for their murder.

According to the testimonies of several members of the Czech lower house, Staník is said to have declared that "Jews, homosexuals and gypsies should be gassed." He is said to have made the remarks approximately two weeks ago in the club room of the Chamber of Deputies.

News server Aktuálně.cz was the first to report eyewitnesses recounting how the politician entered the premises extremely drunk and began to vulgarly insult the outgoing Czech Labor and Social Affairs Minister Michaela Marksová, who was also there. Staník is then said to have gone on to call for the murder of minorities.

Cemper has since filed a report with the prosecutor about the incident. "The reason is that in my opinion the calls made by Mr Staník meet the definition of a crime according to paragraph 356 of the Criminal Code [incitement to hatred of a group of persons or restriction of their rights and freedoms - Editor] and if there are enough eyewitnesses to that behavior it should not be a problem to prove it happened," Cemper told news server iDNES.cz.

"I followed in the media how everybody condemned his remarks, but then it became a hot potato and nobody informed the criminal justice authorities," the activist added. He filed the crime report with the District State Prosecutor for Prague 1.

Not the first time

Many eyewitnesses were present during the incident, including former Czech MP Marek Černoch. "The moment Madame Minister Marksová arrived, [Staník] began to carry on very vulgarly, and he was drunk," Černoch told iDNES.cz.

According to Černoch, Staník began to call the outgoing minister "Marxová-Engelsová", abused her for supporting "homosexuals", and ultimately called for the murder of minorities. "They were racist remarks that homosexuals, Gypsies and Jews should be shot immediately after being born and the Jews should be gassed," Černoch said, adding that he cannot recall the exact word order because the incident happened some time ago.

This is not the first time the SPD secretary has behaved this way, according to Černoch. He alleges that there have been many situations in which Staník has been drunk, has behaved inappropriately, and has verbally assaulted people.

The eyewitness also rejects the reaction of SPD chair Okamura to the incident, who has alleged on Facebook that the outgoing Labor Minister was drunk herself and that her account of the entire situation is biased. "Drunken Madame Minister Marksová apparently could not deal with the situation of encountering Mr Staník, a former Czech Social Democratic Party member, as he was a critic of the political betrayal of the people by that party," Okamura posted to Facebook.

"The confluence of alcohol and frustration over losing her post gave wings to her rancor. The allegations she is now making are embarrassing and stupid," the SPD chair alleged on Facebook.

"Tomio Okamura should stop talking: The remarks by secretary Staník were not about a personal conflict with me. They are unacceptable racism and xenhopobia. There were many eyewitnesses," the minister tweeted in response.

News server iDNES.cz then reported that even though the minister believes Staník's remarks may constitute grounds for filing a criminal report, she will be addressing the matter through a different route, given that the SPD secretary was drunk at the time. "Primarily, the SPD club must face up to this instead of their chair lying and alleging that this is something I imagined," she said.

The minister's words were confirmed by former Czech MP Marin Lank, who was also an eyewitness to the incident. "[Okamura's allegations] are absurd," he said.

"Madame Minister arrived there straight from a meeting. I am in no position to guess whether she had a bit of something beforehand, but she decidedly did not appear to be drunk," Lank said, adding that Staník did seem to have consumed alcohol prior to arriving.

Lank told iDNES.cz that Staník's remarks were distasteful and inappropriate - and he is not surprised by Okamura's reaction. "I wouldn't expect anything else," he commented to the news server.

"I have never seen Tomio Okamura acknowledge that he or anybody else from the SPD has ever been in error," Lank commented. "[Okamura] was not present during the incident, but he 'knows' who was drunk and that this story is all a campaign against him and a lie," Lank posted to Facebook as part of a complete, detailed description of the entire incident.

voj, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Poslanecká sněmovna, Racism, Tomio Okamura, trestní oznámení



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