Czech Police say threats to "bring Roma children to justice" are not criminal
The last two of the more than 10 criminal reports that the ROMEA organization filed with police in March of this year involving racist commentaries and threats made through Facebook were dismissed in August after being sent to Prague 1 police by the District State Prosecutor. As in the cause of the preceding two reports, the police did not find that these two incidents rose to the level of a felony.
The first incident involved a Facebook user named Dieter Kammler making the following threats to Romani children beneath an article published by news server Romea.cz about a incident at a zoo in which a flamingo was killed: "I have decided to take justice into my own hands before I die. Yes, it will be two little Romani children."
Police have now assessed that comment as not at all problematic from a criminal law perspective. "A qualified assessment of the content of your filing ... and investigation as per Section 158 paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code and per Act No. 273.2008, Coll, on the Police of the Czech Republic, did not find any facts indicating the commission of a crime," reads the notification ROMEA has received from the Prague 1 Police about this remark.
The second incident involved Facebook user David Krčmář commenting: "Repulsive, useless black filth, aggressive from the time they're young... Let's be racists, we really do not need this!!!!"
The Czech Police have also found that post lawful. Krčmář posted his comment beneath an article on news server Krajskelisty.cz about the death of the flamingo that had been shared on the Facebook group "Darkies in Europe" (Bubáci v Evropě).
Underestimating hate speech on the Internet
For quite some time the Prague 1 State Prosecutor has simply abandoned attempting any clarification of hate crimes (and not just those committed in cyberspace), and underestimation of this phenomenon by the police has been amply demonstrated, as Klára Kalibová, a lawyer from the In IUSTITIA organization, told Romea.cz. "Hate speech disseminated through social networks is generally underestimated by the criminal justice authorities, and their assessments in some cases are dubious to say the least," In IUSTITIA published recently when summarizing the findings of its own monitoring of online social networks and the Czech criminal justice system's response to hate speech through the Internet.
"The prosecutor's approach negatively affects how the public perceives criminal activity motivated by hatred in cyberspace. The victims give up on defending their rights, the perpetrators have a sense of impunity, and the borders of what is allowed are gradually being pushed back," Kalibová told Romea.cz.
ROMEA filed more than 10 criminal reports at the beginning of this year against the authors of online social networking posts who had verbally assaulted and threatened to physically destroy Roma and members of other minorities. Four of those reports were sent to the Prague 1 criminal police by the prosecutor, but police now say that none of the incidents constituted criminal behavior.
Three of those reports were immediately rejected by the state prosecutor, and that office has yet to inform ROMEA of what measures, if any, have been taken in another four reports of racist, threatening commentaries posted to Internet discussions. The timeframe for informing those who report crimes as to the status of their reports is supposed to be one month.
OVERVIEW OF THE CZECH PROSECUTOR AND POLICE APPROACH TOWARD THESE INCIDENTS
"Burn down all of Romea..." The police were not able to find anything indicating that this remark was a crime. ROMEA asked that the police's approach be reviewed, but the state prosecutor said she identified with their conclusions, calling the threat of arson a colloquial figure of speech.
"Why didn't they shoot those monkeys immediately? What else should be done with garbage like that. They don't have the right to exist." The prosecutor sent our report about this remark to the Prague 1 Police, which did not find it qualifed as criminal.
"Whores, I'd shoot time immediately, first that cunt Merkel, who brought them here, and then the rest of those fuckers, they just get to cross our borders, I would love to shoot those fuckers." The prosecutor did not find this remark to be criminal.
"The fucking optimists, led by Merkel, protect them, those disgusting Muslim monkeys. I'd shoot them just like Mladič. Those guys partially exterminated them, but it didn't help. UNFORTUNATELY." The prosecutor said this remark does not constitute a crime. It is remarkable that there was no attempt made to investigate whether it was a reference to Ratko Mladić, the former Bosnian Serb military leader accused of committing war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
"Hang them from their feet like a punching bag, beat them from morning to night with barbed wire and then skin them on the last day. Solved." The prosecutor said this remark does not constitute a crime.
"I, too, have decided to take justice into my own hands before I die. Yes they will be two little Romani children." The prosecutor sent the report of this remark to the police for further investigation. Police did not find indications that this remark is criminal.
"Repulsive, useless black filth, aggressive from the time they're young... Let's be racists, we really do not need this!!!!" The prosecutor sent the report of this remark to the police for further investigation. Police did not find indications that this remark is criminal.
"Is Lidl already also multi-culti, putting a nigger in their flyers? If that is for Germany... then there I understand it... there those darkies already shit all over everything enough, but I really don't want to look at black fuckers here." Even six months after this remark was reported, the prosecutor has not informed those reporting it whether any measures were taken in this matter and if so, what those measures were.
"May I ask why you are testing fabrics on trained orangutans?" Even six months after this remark was reported, the prosecutor has not informed those reporting it whether any measures were taken in this matter and if so, what those measures were. Legal expert Kalibová believes this particular remark meets the definition of Section 355, although it could also be considered a misdemeanor.
"Does Lidl want to slowly prepare us for there being more and more niggers here? Thank you, I don't want niggers, I don't want Lidl." Even six months after this remark was reported, the prosecutor has not informed those reporting it whether any measures were taken in this matter and if so, what those measures were.
"Why in your flyers for our Czech Republic do models of the NEGROID type constantly appear?" Even six months after this remark was reported, the prosecutor has not informed those reporting it whether any measures were taken in this matter and if so, what those measures were.
Criminal Acts Disturbing Cohabitation of People - Criminal Code of the Czech Republic
Section 352 Violence Against a Group of People and Individuals
(1) Whoever threatens a group of people with death, bodily harm or causing extensive damage, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for up to one year.
(2) Whoever uses violence against a group of people or against an individual or threatens them with death, bodily harm or causing extensive damage for their true or presupposed race, belonging to an ethnic group, nationality, political or religious beliefs or because they are truly or supposedly without religion, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for six months to three years.
3) The same sentence as in Sub-section (2) shall be imposed to anyone who a) conspires or assembles for the purpose of committing such an act, or b) commits the act referred to in Sub-section (1) by press, film, radio, television, publically accessible computer network or in another similarly effective manner.
Section 355 Defamation of a Nation, Race, Ethnic or other Group of People
(1) Whoever publically defames a) any nation, its language, any race of ethnic group, or b) a group of people for their true or presupposed race, belonging to an ethnic group, nationality, political or religious beliefs or because they are truly or supposedly without religion, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for up to two years.
(2) An offender shall be sentenced to imprisonment for up to two years, if he/she commits the act referred to in Sub-section (1) a) with at least two persons, or b) by press, film, radio, television, publically accessible computer network or in another similarly effective way.
Section 356 Instigation of Hatred towards a Group of People or of Suppression of their Rights and Freedoms
(1) Whoever publically instigates hatred towards any nation, race, ethnic group, religion, class or another group of people or instigates suppression of rights and freedoms of their members, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for up to two years.
(2) The same sentence shall be imposed to anyone who conspires or assembles to commit the act referred to in Sub-section (1).
(3) An offender shall be sentenced to imprisonment for six months to three years, if he/she a) commits the act referred to in Sub-section (1) by press, film, radio, television, publically accessible computer network or in another similarly effective way, or b) actively participates in activities of a group, organisation or association that promotes discrimination, violence or race, ethnical, class, religious or other hatred by such an act.
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