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Czech police charge Litvínov man for wearing banned Workers' Party logo

Litvínov, 3.2.2011 21:58, (ROMEA)

Police in Most have charged a 24-year-old man from Litvínov with showing sympathy for a movement aimed at suppressing human rights and freedoms. Police spokesperson Ludmila Světláková said the man was spotted at a bus stop wearing a cap with the logo of the banned Workers' Party (Dělnická strana - DS). The Supreme Administrative Court dissolved the DS last year. The man has not been taken into custody. If convicted, he faces up to three years in prison.

Police officers say the original version of the DS logo represents the promotion of various movements and organizations (some of which no longer exist) whose activities are based on an ideology combining the contemporary concept of neo-Nazism, Nazism itself, racism and xenophobia. "Given that the person charged had previously been a member of the DS who regularly organizes and participates in right-wing extremist events, it is evident that he could and should have been aware of the meaning of the symbol he was publicly expressing his sympathy for," Světláková said. News server Romea.cz has determined that the man charged is probably the chair of the Litvínov chapter of the Workers' Social Justice Party (Dělnická strana sociální spravedlnosti - DSSS), Petr Križanovič, whose prosecution has been reported on the party's website.

The charges were filed by Miroslav Kováč, who at the time was working as a Roma police assistant in Litvínov. "I filed charges against Mr Křižanovič and I know he was interrogated by the criminal police in Most. I was also summoned as a witness,“ Kováč told news server Romea.cz.

In the charges he filed, Kováč wrote the following: "On 5 November 2010, I and my coworker Marek Nistor were standing at the crosswalk across from the elementary school at the Janov housing estate between 8 and 8:30 AM. A man unknown to us got off the bus (his name is allegedly Křižanovič and he lives at Janov) wearing the logo of the dissolved political party, the DS, on his baseball cap…. As far as the danger to society posed by this illegal behavior, I personally see it (the wearing of a baseball cap with the logo of the dissolved DS party, which is an expression and promotion of sympathy for a movement such as those described in section 260 of the Criminal Code) as presenting a high danger to society, as the Janov housing estate has long been an excluded locality with a predominance of Roma residents. Janov residents have very vivid memories of the attempted pogrom against them committed by the DS in 2008, as well as subsequent such attempts made in Přerov and other towns, such as the attempted murder of an entire Roma family in Vítkov by DS members. This citizen, through his actions, behavior, promotion of the DS and his sympathies, is publicly provoking or potentially provoking conflict with other Janov residents which could lead to a wave of ethnic and racial unrest, either locally or nationwide. In the past, the police response to suppress the unrest in Litvínov caused by the four or five visits the DS made to the town cost the state CZK 10 million.“

As news server Romea.cz previously reported, the town of Litvínov originally filed criminal charges against the three Roma police assistants, including Miroslav Kováč, for stopping the man and removing his baseball cap. Police have declined to press charges and are addressing the incident as a misdemeanor. Despite this, the Litvínov town hall will not be rehiring the assistants and has given this incident as their excuse.

The Supreme Administrative Court dissolved the DS last February, finding that its ideology, program and symbols included chauvinistic and xenophobic elements, a racist subtext, and were related to National Socialism. The court found that the party was inciting violence and striving for a radical change in the democratic order. According to the verdict, the party was attempting to artificially incite the sense that foreigners and immigrants pose a danger to Czech society.

Police in Most pressed similar charges earlier this year against an 18-year-old man who participated in an event sponsored by the DSSS, which is the successor to the banned Workers' Party. Police officers have also begun prosecuting the Vice-Chair of the Workers' Youth organization, Lucie Šlégrová, for the content of a speech she gave at a DSSS event. Police say she publicly expressed a positive relationship toward a movement aimed at suppressing human rights and freedoms, expressed solidarity with the ideology of German Nazism, and promoted German National Socialism.

ČTK, Gwendolyn Albert, frk, Czech Press Agency, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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