Czech prosecutor agrees with police that threat to burn down ROMEA is not a crime
A threat to burn down an NGO is apparently not a crime in the Czech Republic. Police and one District State Prosecutor's Office don't see one such incident that way, at least.
The ROMEA organization filed a police report after receiving such a threat last year from somebody who posted the comment "Burn down all of Romea" ("Vypálit celou Romeu") to the organization's Facebook page. The police conclusion that this was not a crime has now been confirmed by the Prague 1 District State Prosecutor.
That office said the threat to burn down the organization is just and example of the use of a popular turn of phrase. "The Police identified and interrogated suspect Ondřej Vlček, who distanced himself from the comment 'Burn down all of Romea', posted to the Facebook page of ROMEA," reads a letter from State Prosecutor Zdeňka Galková of the Prague 1 District State Prosecutor's Office.
"While the police assessed the 'defense' provided by suspect Ondřej Vlček as unreliable, they were unable to further clarify the motivation that led to the incriminating comment, nor what its aim was. For that reason, the police were only able to assess the remark per se," Galková wrote.
"They correctly arrived at the conclusion that such a remark is absolutely indefinite, unspecific in terms of its addressee," the letter concludes. According to Galková, it is inconclusive whether the writer of the remark was expressly threatening anybody, and she called the comment a case of "a kind of popular 'turn of phrase' used on the Internet".
Lawyer Klára Kalibová, director of the In IUSTITIA organization, disagrees with the state prosecutor's findings: "Ignoring hatred on social networks is a grave problem of our present times. If a state prosecutor abandons the exercise of bringing perpetrators to justice and leaves the victims of cyber-bullying to fend for themselves with respect to such online hatred, it is possible to consider that a serious error."
"Facebook is not a special area where criminal law sanctions cannot be applied," Kalibová said. "On the contrary, it is a location that increases the impact of such attacks."
"Insults and threats are frequently multiplied by other participants in these conversations because they remain open indefinitely on the network," the lawyer said. "Unlike verbal insults made in person in a restaurant facility, for example, offensive remarks made through social networks are more painful because the victims are constantly subjected to them."
"It is not possible to accept that a local state prosecutor would absolutely adjust the Criminal Code through such an analysis," the lawyer said. "In my opinion it would be appropriate for the Supreme State Prosecutor to methodologically intervene here."
The director of the ROMEA organization has expressed uneasiness over the findings of the police and state prosecutor in this matter. "The recent behavior of the police and state prosecutor increases the mistrust that some Romani people have about such institutions," said Zdeněk Ryšavý.
"According to the reactions we are encountering, Romani people's belief in the justice system in the Czech Republic is at such a low point as to be frozen," Ryšavý said, recalling police responses to the death of a Romani man at a pizzeria in Žatec, the shots fired at Ida Kelarová's summer camp for children, the threats made against singer Radek Banga and his brother Patrik, or the most recent case of police failing to communicate about the scandal of the shooting death in Chomutov. In this case, the ROMEA organization warned police that the employees of the ROMEA organization had been threatened with arson.
A user of Ondřej Vlček's Facebook profile wrote "Burn all of Romea down" on the Facebook page of the ROMEA organization late last year. His comment appeared beneath an article about hateful reactions to a protest by Radek Banga expressing his disagreement with the neo-Nazi Ortel band performing at the "Czech Nightingale" popular music awards.
After police assessed the matter in January 2017 as not constituting the commission of a crime, ROMEA turned to the Prague 1 District State Prosecutor with a request that the police procedure be reviewed. The prosecutor has now agreed with the conclusions drawn by the police investigation.
At the beginning of 2017 ROMEA filed 10 more reports of crimes in response to some of the openly racist, threatening commentaries in which the members of various minorities, including Romani people, are being attacked through the Facebook social network. How and whether the police will react at all to those reports of suspected crimes will be reported on in future.
- ROMEA reports 10+ criminal incidents involving racist commentaries and threats on Facebook to the Czech Police
- Czech Police investigation of death threats against Romani celebrity continues, his brother targeted also
- Czech Police say threats to burn down ROMEA organization were not criminal
- American Ambassador to Czech Republic Cites Roma Causes, Russian Threat in Final Press Conference
- Romani children from choir whose summer camp was shot at write to Czech PM, Police, seeking apology
- Norway: Romani online television channel "Nevimos Norvego" to collaborate with ROMEA TV
- Czech pro-Kremlin disinformation Facebook page sparks wave of racist, vulgar comments about non-white infant
- Austria: First newborn of the year has become a target of hateful commentary
- International Czech and Slovak Romani community rocked by mysterious death of nine-year-old girl in England
- Stanislava Ondová: The Czech courts use a double standard for non-Roma and Roma, I may emigrate
- EU High Level Group on combating racism features Roma participants from Czech Republic, discusses Afrophobia
- Provocateur calls sale of former Roma genocide site to the Czech state a form of "antisemitism", Jewish community disagrees
- Crime report filed after Czech politician calls for murder of minorities
- Czech racists threaten online to kill children because they are of Arab and Romani origin
- Charles University in Prague publishes online explanation of Romanes spelling rules
- Czech Police say threats to "bring Roma children to justice" are not criminal
Tags:Internet, Police, Státní zastupitelství, trestní oznámení
Každý diskutující musí dodržovat PRAVIDLA DISKUZE SERVERU Romea.cz. Moderátoři serveru Romea.cz si vyhrazují právo bez předchozího upozornění skrýt nevhodné příspěvky z diskuse na Romea.cz. Ty pak budou viditelné jen pro vás a vaše přátele na Facebooku. Při opakovaném porušení pravidel mohou moderátoři zablokovat zobrazování vašich příspěvků v diskusích na Romea.cz ostatním uživatelům.