Czech courts convict two people for racist online hate speech about newborn, three more are under investigation
The weekly RESPEKT reported last week that in November 2018 the Czech courts convicted two of the five people being investigated in association with the scandal of hateful commentaries being posted online about a boy born in 2017 in the town of Třinec to a Czech mother and Kurdish father. More suspects remain under investigation.
The Facebook page of the Zprávy.cz news server, which draws from local and regional newspapers, shared a photograph of the child, and hateful comments about him began to appear beneath the post, some of which expressed a desire for the child's death. Pavel Hrabák, the first of those posting to be convicted of hate speech, posted the following: "This is garbage, it's in the genes. This will just keep multiplying here, how many offspring will a nigger like this have 25 years from now? If it were up to me I would stomp on his neck."
"Pavel Hrabák has been found guilty of inciting hatred against a group of persons and the limitation of their rights and freedoms and has been sentenced with full effect to 100 hours of community service work," Zuzana Barochová, a spokesperson for the Prague 6 District Court, told RESPEKT. The second of those charged in the case so far, Lad'a Vyskočilová, has been given a much harsher sentence for posting this remark: "That has no business being here, if I were the obstetrician I'd have a bucket full of that during one morning."
"The woman was sentenced to one year in prison, suspended for four years," Karel Menšík, the vice-president of the court in Vyškov, told RESPEKT. The weekly believes her sentence is harsher because she has a criminal record, having been convicted more than 10 times before, primarily for theft.
In both cases, according to RESPEKT, the courts handed down their decisions without holding a public hearing. Neither of those convicted has objected to the verdict.
The investigation of another three suspects is not yet completed. The case of Josef Karban, who wrote "Drown immediately" beneath the child's photograph, is still being dealt with by police.
Karban is now claiming he did not write the commentary but that somebody else used his account to do so. Last year, however, he told RESPEKT that "he came home from the pub in the evening, he had a few drinks in him, he saw those commentaries beneath the photo and he got agitated."
Another of those under investigation is complicating the work of the prosecutor because he has long been abroad. As for the last suspect, a man from the Teplice area, it is not yet clear whether he will he charged.
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