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August 16, 2022

 

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Czech Police arrest purveyors of disinformation who hatefully threatened refugees from Ukraine, court remands them into custody

6.8.2022 16:10
Patrik Tušl (left) a Tomáš Čermák (right) (PHOTO: Manipulatori.cz)
Patrik Tušl (left) a Tomáš Čermák (right) (PHOTO: Manipulatori.cz)

Police in Prague arrested two purveyors of disinformation, Tomáš Čermák and Patrik Tušl, on Wednesday and charged them with two felonies. News server Manipulátoři.cz was the first to draw attention to the arrest and reported that it is in association with threats the pair have made against refugees from Ukraine.    

A court remanded the men into custody on Friday. The extremists had published a video on Facebook calling on people in the Czech Republic to "rise up" against Ukrainians.

Čermák and Tušl say in the video that demonstrations in support of Ukraine are being planned and that "it is necessary to take action immediately". They mention an assembly announced in Prague for 24 August on the occasion of Ukrainian Independence Day.  

As many as 5,000 people are expected to participate in that event. Tušl comments on that in the video as follows:  "Predicted number of participants - 5,000 pieces. Five thousand dirty fucking Ukrainians, dude. We have to be there!" 

"Who out there will be willing to stand up to them that same day and resist them? We are holding a counter-event. We have to fucking show them whose home this is, get off our asses and do a proper job of it. [...] If they want to fight, let them try," Čermák aggressively challenged viewers of the video.  

According to news server Manipulátoři.cz, police are investigating both men on suspicion of having committed a felony under Section 356 of the Criminal Code, "incitement to hate a group or to limit its rights and freedoms". On Friday, Judge Kateřina Rybáková of the District Court for Prague 1 remanded them both into custody to prevent their further criminal activity.    

"Both accused were remanded into custody on the grounds that they might otherwise continue committing crimes," court spokesperson Pavla Hájková confirmed to news server Aktuálně.cz. Čermák and Tušl have complained against that decision, but that did not have a suspensory effect on its execution.

"The police authority communicated the charges to these two natural persons for the felonies designated as defamation of a nation, race, ethnic or other group and incitement to hate a group of persons or to limit their rights and freedoms," Aleš Cimbala, spokesperson for the Metropolitan Public Prosecutor’s Office in Prague, told the media. If convicted, the men could face up to three years in prison.   

The activist pair are famous on the disinformation scene and the public first became aware of them after they harassed and persecuted several figures associated with combating COVID-19 during the pandemic. They published videos of their behavior to their Facebook profile along with a request for financial contributions to continue such activity. 

Police are already investigating Tušl for persecuting the president of the Czech Medical Association, Milan Kubek. Tušl has been previously convicted of making death threats against the mother of his own child and was given a suspended sentence for that offense.  

Detectives are also investigating Čermák for other crimes, including harassing medical workers and calling for attacks on politicians, for which he faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted. Both of them have been regularly participating in anti-Government, pro-Russian demonstrations in association with Russia's invasion of Ukraine.    

One such demonstration was held on 8 July, during which officers arrested a man with a Nazi swastika tattoo. In addition to Čermák and Tušl, the demonstration was also attended by Jiří Černohorský and a former member of the "Freedom and Direct Democracy" movement, Robert Vašíček, who collaborates with the Romani political party Roma Luma.  
 

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Dezinformace, Extremism, Hate, Police



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