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September 19, 2018
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Czech Police refuse immediate comment about extremist stickers on bus used to transport 280 arrested environmental activists

6.7.2018 14:14
Extremist stickers on a bus used by Czech Police to transport arrested activists away from an environmental protest on 1 July 2018. (PHOTO:  Facebook page of Martin Marek)
Extremist stickers on a bus used by Czech Police to transport arrested activists away from an environmental protest on 1 July 2018. (PHOTO: Facebook page of Martin Marek)

A photograph of the interior of a bus used by Czech Police to transport activists arrested after a protest against surface mining for brown coal at the Bílina mine in the Most district shows that a sticker for the hatemongering Ortel band and an anti-Islam sticker with a red line crossing out a mosque were visible above the driver's seat. On 1 July police detained 280 demonstrators on suspicion of misdemeanors.

"Currently there is an assessment of the security measures underway and it should be completed within a month. Motions about the security measures are being investigated by the Department of Internal Control of the Office of the Police Directorate, Ústecký Region. Until the assessment is completed we will not provide information about the security measures," Šárka Poláčková, spokesperson for the police, told news server Romea.cz.

The spokesperson refused to answer whether the buses used belong to the Czech Police. The Ortel band is mentioned, for example, in the Czech Interior Ministry's report about extremism for 2015.

According to the ministry, Ortel is one of the first extremist bands to focus on commercial activities. "The example of Ortel demonstrates the fact that some musicians made populist use of critiquing problems associated with the migration wave in order to increase their popularity," that report found.

The crossed-out mosque is the logo of a no longer functional organization called "Bloc against Islam", which is also regularly reported about in the extremism reports. According to the ministry, the General Inspection of the Security Corps did not begin any prosecutions against any of its employees or members in the area of extremism during either 2016 or 2017.

According to the officially still-unpublished report on extremism for 2017, the Military Police recorded one case of illegal behavior with an extremist subtext last year. The case involved suspicion of the commission of the offense of displaying sympathy for movements aiming to suppress human rights and freedoms, allegedly committed by a soldier who, on his publicly accessible Facebook profile, published a photograph of himself with a tattoo of inscriptions and symbols of a right-wing extremist character on his forearm.

ryz, , translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Extremism, Police, Racism, Xenophobia



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