Czech Police investigate party secretary who called for the gassing of Jews and Roma
The Czech Police have begun to investigate Jaroslav Staník, the secretary of the "Freedom and Direct Democracy" movement (SPD), over his allegedly hateful, racist remarks about "homosexuals", Jews and Romani people made at the end of October on the grounds of the lower house, according to eyewitnesses. The "Against Hate Speech" (Proti projevům nenávisti) platform first published the news of the investigation on 5 December.
News server Aktuálně.cz reported on 6 December that police officers are summoning eyewitnesses for questioning about the incident. The SPD secretary is said to have called for the gassing to death of members of the above-mentioned minorities when he was in a restaurant on the grounds of the lower house.
"In this matter the legal acts of a criminal proceedings on suspicion of incitement to hatred against a group or to the restriction of their rights and freedoms have begun," Prague Police spokesperson Jan Daněk told the news server. The impulse for police to begin investigating the case came from the District State Prosecutor for Prague 1.
According to eyewitnesses, Staník was drunk in a restaurant club of the lower house when he called for minorities to be killed. "He called for all homosexuals, Roma and Jews to be shot once they are born," former Czech MP Marek Černoch (elected for "Dawn") told the news server.
Outgoing Czech Labor Minister Michaela Marksová (Czech Social Democratic Party - ČSSD) described to the news server that when she entered the club, the severely drunken Staník addressed her as "Marxová-Engelsová". The SPD secretary then allegedly said the minister "supports homosexuals".
"He said they should all be sent to the gas chambers and killed," the minister said. She was scheduled to give a statement about the incident to police on 6 December.
Until recently, the SPD secretary had also worked as an assistant to Czech MP Jaroslav Holík (SPD). Staník is no longer serving in that role because, according to the MP, his work as party secretary was overwhelming him.
According to news server Aktuálně.cz, Staník worked during the 1980s for the Czechoslovak National Security Force and then for the police. The suspect had been a ČSSD member for many years.
Staník was stripped of his membership in the party in 2012 for collaborating closely with Tomio Okamura, who is today the chair of the SPD. The SPD secretary is known for preventing journalists from entering the offices of the SPD campaign during the October elections and for calling the police on them, the news server reported.
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