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August 18, 2019
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Czech court says use of force in response to racist abuse was proportionate, prosecutor appeals

20.7.2019 8:44
--ilustrační foto--
--ilustrační foto--

News server Novinky.cz reports that a second ruling has been handed down in a case that began in April 2017, when Mohamad Yzan Ramadan, a 25-year-old Syrian man, used force to defend himself against two youths who approached the refreshment stand he owns and began yelling at him that he was "stinking filth" and other racist insults. Ramadan ran out from behind the stand and used a baton to beat the two youths away. 

A court has now spared Ramadan conviction for a second time because his actions are considered to have just been a reaction to the behavior of the people he physically harmed - behavior that they have already been convicted and sentenced for. After the incident, Ramadan ended up before a court in Plzeň on charges of disorderly conduct and attempted bodily harm.

Prosecutor Robert Merkun disagrees with the acquittal and appealed on the spot. "The court should make it clear to the defendant, who is a foreign citizen, that it is just not possible to behave like this on the territory of the Czech Republic, and if he does behave this way there will be sanctions," Merkun said.

Judge David Protiva, the sole judge ruling, said the harm to society done by the defendant's actions was significantly mitigated by the fact that the injured parties' own behavior had been inexcusable. "He could not psychologically bear that abusive bad language and unfortunately took justice into his own hands," Novinky.cz quoted Protiva, as saying.

"[The defendant's] behavior did, therefore, meet the definition of the offenses with which he was charged," Protiva said. Ramadan acknowledged he was guilty of the charges, but emphasized that he had been provoked.

"What I am being accused of is true and I regret it. However, I never would have done it if they hadn't shouted racist abuse at me and left me alone instead," he told the court.

The first time the District Court heard the case against Ramadan was in February, when it sent it to a local misdemeanor commission for handling, ruling that the behavior of the injured parties toward the defendant had been of such a mitigating nature that it would not be proportionate for the court to hear the case at all or to hold the defendant criminally liable. The Regional Court then overturned that decision at the instigation of the prosecutor.

vhl, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Plzeň, Racism, Verdict, Xenophobia



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