Czech court gives former secretary to ultra-right party suspended sentence for inciting hatred
The District Court for Prague 1 has given the former secretary of the "Freedom and Direct Democracy" party (SPD), Jaroslav Staník, a yearlong suspended sentence for the remarks he made in the restaurant in the lower house of Parliament about gay people, Jews and Roma. He has also been fined CZK 70 000 [EUR 2 700].
According to Judge Helena Králová, Staník committed felony incitement of hatred and/or the restriction of human rights and freedoms, as well as denying, doubting, approving of or justifying genocide. The verdict has yet to take effect and both parties are considering appeals.
The former SPD secretary, according to the indictment, said in the lower house on 24 October 2017 that "fags and lesbians are a disease and should be shot dead after they are born". He is also alleged to have said that gays, Jews and Roma should be sent to the gas chambers.
Staník rejects the characterization of his behavior as criminal. He said he had been drinking alcohol that evening in the restaurant to celebrate the electoral success of the SPD party.
The former secretary claims to have been conversing with other politicians about minorities, but not defaming them. He also believes the motivation for prosecuting him is to damge the SPD movement, his personal reputation, and that of the SPD chair, Tomio Okamura.
After the verdict was announced on 9 April, Staník told journalists it had not surprised him. He did not want to comment further.
In his closing remarks to the judge, the defendant especially attacked the prosecutor and the "regime" in the Czech Republic. "The court finds the defendant's guilt to have been proven," the judge ruled.
Staník, in her view, was proven guilty in particular by the eyewitness testimonies of former MPs Martin Lanek and Marek Černoch (both with the "Dawn of Direct Democracy" party - Úsvit). She fully agreed with the prosecutor's motion for sentencing.
The year-long sentence, suspended for two years, and the fine were also levied against the former SPD secretary for making his remarks while in that office. "More attention would be paid to him [in such a role] than to others," the judge said.
Králová added that freedom of speech cannot be open-ended. Staník was also an assistant to Czech MP Jaroslav Holík when he made his remarks.
He stopped serving in that role at the close of November and start of December 2017 because, according to Holík, Staník's party secretary duties were taking up too much of his time. The chair of the SPD subsequently announced that Staník was no longer either a member or a secretary of the SPD movement.
- Czech court sentences Romani man to six months in prison for hate speech against the Czech President and others
- Czech courts definitively acquit publisher of Salafist book of promoting a movement against human rights
- Czech court conditionally suspends prosecution of man who threatened to kill Romani celebrity
- Czech court hears testimony from former secretary to ultranationalist party about his bigoted outburst
- Complaint against racist election campaign in Czech town heads to the European Court of Human Rights
- Czech Constitutional Court rejects complaint about hateful election campaigns, but agrees they were unethical
- Czech courts convict two people for racist online hate speech about newborn, three more are under investigation
- Czech Constitutional Court upholds requirement for supermarket chains to donate to food banks
- Czech Constitutional Court to review controversial local ordinance about sitting in public
- Czech Supreme Court to review verdict in shooting murder of Romani man in Chomutov
- Czech court finds author of death threats against human rights defenders committed a politically-motivated hate crime
- Czech Constitutional Court receives complaint about election campaign, proposals for "fertilization" of "gypsies" recur in local media discussion
- Czech court fines seven racists for approving of the murder of a Romani man, but one is appealing - for the publicity
- Czech lower courts consider online comment calling for asylum-seekers to be set on fire a misdemeanor, Supreme Court to rule now
- Czech Constitutional Court president: Ethnic and national self-centeredness and xenophobia are a threat to Europe
- Editors at Slovak news server apologize for anti-Romani, racist joke, but legislator is filing a complaint
- American neo-Nazi gets seven years in prison for threatening activists and journalists
- Czech lower house to review Govt agreement with expansion of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency, which advises on racism and other matters
- Former Czech MP faces prosecution for his remarks about a "pseudo-concentration camp" for Romani people at Lety
- Czech martial arts organization Oktagon MMA bans contestant because of Hitler tattoo
- Slovak court finally ends absurd story of Romani victims of police brutality being charged with perjury, exonerating the last such defendant
- Slovak first-instance court rules that Romani children were unlawfully assigned to "special needs" classes
- German counter-intelligence says right-wing extremist numbers growing as people radicalize in response to COVID-19
- Czech court hands down suspended sentence for racist commentary on article about children's deaths and confiscates the computer used
- Greece: Romani girl caught in sliding doors dies due to shocking indifference of bystanders, her family sees it as racism
- Czech Police charge dozens of online haters for attacking medical workers as Facebook blocks French and Italian accounts campaigning against vaccination with violence
- Controversial Romani figure appears with Czech extremists opposing measures to control the pandemic