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Czech Police audit says officers proceeded correctly at demonstration with mock-ups of gallows

19.7.2015 2:43
The mock-ups of gallows that were brandished at a demonstration  on 1 July 2015 in Prague against immigration and quotas and in favor of the Czech Republic leaving the EU. (PHOTO:  Facebook.com)
The mock-ups of gallows that were brandished at a demonstration on 1 July 2015 in Prague against immigration and quotas and in favor of the Czech Republic leaving the EU. (PHOTO: Facebook.com)

Police officers on duty during the 1 July demonstration against immigration in Prague did not make a mistake when they took no action against demonstrators carrying mock-ups of gallows. Yesterday Czech Police spokesperson Tomáš Hulan confirmed to the Czech News Agency that an investigation by the Regional Police Internal Affairs Department has absolved the officers.  

News server Aktuálně.cz first reported the conclusions of the investigation. The Police Presidium supervised it and agrees with the findings, spokesperson Jana Macalíková said.

Czech Interior Minister Milan Chovanec and Chief of Police Tomáš Tuhý criticized the officers' procedure. Proposed legislative changes are in the works in response to the incident, according to Macalíková.  

"We found no errors committed at the scene of the event," Hulan said. Macalíková confirmed that the Police Presidium's Department of Internal Affairs was aware of the investigation's conclusions.  

"We agree with it and we have no objections," she said. "The officers did not violate either the internal management code or the law."

The demonstration against Islam and migration on 1 July in the center of Prague featured mock-ups of gallows. Chovanec said the following day that "neither death threats nor gallows have any place in a democracy" and that the police must be aware of that.  

The Police Presidium responded that gallows at a demonstration was a new element that had to be legally evaluated in terms of what the proper response should be. Police estimated that approximately 550 people, including counter-protesters, attended the demonstration against immigration and quotas and in favor of leaving the EU.

Officers did intervene on 1 July against activists who attempted to block the anti-immigrant march toward the Office of the Government by sitting on the sidewalk. Three people ended up at the police station for their civil disobedience.

A fourth person was arrested for allegedly attacking officers who intervened against other detainees. Hulan said yesterday that police have not been given any new instructions with respect to handling demonstrations. 

ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Demonstrace, Migrace, Policie, Politika



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