Czech Police recommend prosecuting woman who wore Nazi swastikas for supporting a movement to suppress human rights
Detectives in Prague have recommended prosecuting a 47-year-old woman who attended a demonstration by the "Freedom and Direct Democracy" (SPD) movement in April on Wenceslas Square because she did so wearing a chain with many Nazi swastikas and other symbols of Nazi Germany. Czech Television received the news from Jan Daněk, spokesperson for the police in the Czech capital.
The woman, police believe, committed the crime of showing sympathy for a movement to suppress human rights and freedoms by wearing the symbols; if convicted, she faces up to three years in prison. "Detectives from the Prague 1 police precinct completed their investigation of the case of the 47-year-old woman and filed a motion with the Prague 1 prosecutor's office to prosecute her for felony display of sympathy for movements aiming to suppress human rights and freedoms," Daněk said.
The SPD convened the demonstration against what they called the "dictatorship of the European Union" on the afternoon of 25 April to launch their campaign for the European Parliament. CCTV cameras not only captured the woman wearing the chain with the Nazi German swastikas, but another demonstrator giving the Nazi salute.
The man who did so, 34-year-old Radek Mansfeld, has been give a six-month suspended sentence and was fined CZK 30 000. The verdict has yet to take effect because he appealed.
Mansfeld claims he was raising his right arm not to express sympathy for neo-Nazism, but to calm down the situation that arose during the demonstration between opponents and supporters of the SPD. "The defendant was well aware of what neo-Nazism is, what the Nazi salute is, and what a Fascist symbol is," said Judge Eva Švíglerová of the District Court for Prague 1 when handing down the verdict.
According to the judge, Masnfeld gave the salute intending to publicly sympathize with neo-Nazism, which also follows from how he was dressed at the time and the environment in which he committed his act. The judge also pointed to Mansfeld's Facebook profile which, in her view, demonstrated that the defendant was "very well aware" of the issue of neo-Nazism.
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