Czech Police investigating dozens of online comments approving of the neo-Nazi attack in New Zealand
The Czech Police are investigating whether some Internet and online social network users have committed the crime of approving of a felony in association with Friday's terrorist attack on mosques in New Zealand. All activities that can be interpreted as approving of that offense will be carefully investigated by police and evidence will be accumulated for eventual criminal prosecution, Czech Interior Minister Jan Hamáček (Czech Social Democratic Party - ČSSD) said yesterday on Twitter.
Dozens of such comments have appeared in discussions on news servers and on the Facebook social network, with the authors cynically approving of the brutal murders committed by the neo-Nazi terrorist in New Zealand. Police President Jan Švejdar emphasized that the Czech Police will not tolerate any displays of agreement with extremism, incitement to hatred, or terrorism.
"We have many instruments through which to discover who the perpetrators of this kind of criminal activity are. We are dedicating increased attention to such activities and each instance discovered will be thoroughly investigated," Švejdar tweeted.
Prior to these announcements, the head of the TOP 09 faction in the lower house, Czech MP Miroslav Kalousek, called on Hamáček to file a motion with the police for investigation of the serious felonies he believed were being committed on social networks by people expressing approval of the terrorist attack in New Zealand. "Let's stop this flow before we drown in it," the opposition politician said.
Roman Máca, who has long followed the activities of pro-Russian, racist groups on social networks, drew attention to the case of Jiří Jeřábek, who in the past posted online that the offices of the public broadcaster Czech Television deserved to be shot up just like the editorial office of the Charlie Hebdo magazine was in France. That same Jeřábek has now posted the opinion to Facebook that the murdering neo-Nazi in New Zealand was revenging terrorism committed in Europe - and that he approves of that revenge.
An image is also making the rounds on Facebook that was posted to a discussion held on news server Novinky.cz in which a Petr Kanok of Frýdek-Místek says he wants the gunman in New Zealand to be awarded a medal. Others in the discussion condone the terrorist attack and allege that the Muslims themselves are to blame for it.
The Facebook page called "Diagnosis Tomio Okamura" has pointed out that approval of the New Zealand attack was also posted to Czech MP Tomio Okamura's official Facebook profile, and comments of agreement were posted there as well. Adam Pajtlů, for example, posted the following message to that page: "It's just a pity this didn't happen in the EU. The more there is of this, the fewer profiteers there will be."
Another Okamura follower posted this message: "Finally somebody has begun to do something about this and to set the example that we must not be afraid to pay them back in kind...". Friday's shooting in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand murdered 49 people and others remain in critical condition.
An Australian neo-Nazi has admitted to committing the attack, saying he was motivated by anti-immigration sentiment. Czech governing and opposition politicians immediately condemned the attack on Friday, and several Czech politicians emphasized that the dissemination of fear and hatred can lead to such crimes.
The Czech Police have previously investigated hateful comments made on the Internet in the Czech Republic. Police charged three persons in relation to the remarks they posted to social networks in the autumn of 2017 beneath a photograph of first-graders from a primary school in the town of Teplice.
The class was predominantly attended by Arab, Romani, and Vietnamese children. Those commenting on the photo proposed sending the children to the gas chambers or throwing a grenade into the classroom.
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