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November 18, 2018
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Czech party apparently trolled into posting photo of its leader on Facebook with Nazi swastika

12.10.2017 10:59
Tomio Okamura, who led the
Tomio Okamura, who led the "Freedom and Direct Democracy" party in the 2017 elections to the Czech Parliament, regularly shares hate speech against immigrants and Romani people on his personal Facebook profile. (PHOTO: Romea.cz)

More and more Czech parties are using hateful, racist slogans during the closing phase of their campaigns to be seated in Parliament. Public broadcaster Czech Television is running a hateful, anti-Islam advertisement from the "Bloc agains Islamicization" group, and on 7 October the official Facebook page of the "Freedom and Direct Democracy" (SPD) party, headed by Tomio Okamura, posted their leader's photograph along with a Nazi swastika.

News server Romea.cz reported on the image at 13:45 that day and it was removed from the party's profile by 16:45. It is unclear whether it was intentionally posted or whether the administrator failed to notice it.

The following text was posted along with a photograph of a page from Okamura's newspaper featuring a game and an image of Okamura's face with a Nazi swastika drawn on his forehead:  "Hello, after a romantic evening we were playing the 'Mr Okamura's House' game and having a really good time. Thanks for including us in the competition [...]. Do you like this photo? Vote for it by clicking on 'like'. Share it if you want so this post can reach your friends."

Because the photograph is a so-called "selfie", the Nazi swastika appeared there in reverse. Facebook user Pavel Malina sent the photograph to Okamura's contest and one of his other Facebook posts tells his followers "Pavel Malina smuggles Nazi swastika onto the SPD page."

The image was apparently a case of so-called "trolling". When Romea.cz first reported on the image it had been online for about three hours.

The game called "Mr Okamura's House" is styled after a famous Czech board game, and those who play discover all of the different hateful, populist slogans in Okamura's program as their tokens advance along the board. At one space on the board you can read the following, for example:  "They have closed the school your children attend and moved immigrants into it. You have to wait to roll a six."

Another space features this proclamation, which would certainly be hard to fulfil:  "Tomio Okamura has won the elections and lowered the VAT on beer and medicines to zero. Everything immediately costs less and the entire country celebrates!"

According to a recent poll by the STEM/MARK agency for the newspaper Mladá fronta DNES (MfD), Okamura's party could win 9.2 % of the vote, which is a significant advance compared to previous polls. His hateful, populist campaign is apparently gaining favor with naive Czech voters.

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Extremism, Neo-Nazism, Racism, Tomio Okamura



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