romea - logo
February 24, 2018
extended search

Czech prosecutor agrees with police that threat to burn down ROMEA is not a crime

12.6.2017 7:19
"Burn down all of Romea..." wrote a Facebook user under the name of Ondřej Vlček at the end of November 2016 on the Facebook page of ROMEA. The Czech Police do not believe the threat rises to the level of a felony. (Collage:

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.

voj, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
Views: 834x

Don't miss:

Related articles:


Internet, Police, Státní zastupitelství, trestní oznámení


--ilustrační foto--

Czech survey finds youth are more prejudiced against minorities than their elders

8.2.2018 7:46
A survey performed by experts from the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes (ÚSTR) in collaboration with the Institute of Sociology has ascertained that while the subjects of the Holocaust, minorities and tolerance are being taught in the Czech schools, the instruction is having no influence on some widespread prejudices. ÚSTR has long focused on instruction about these sensitive historical subjects in the schools and more than 600 teachers take its courses annually.
 full story

--ilustrační foto--

Outgoing Czech PM backs MP who doubted Romani Holocaust, says he has apologized and his words have been "misinterpreted"

7.2.2018 16:32
Outgoing Czech PM Andrej Babiš (ANO) says that he believes the chair of the SPD movement, Tomio Okamura, has already apologized for his remarks about the Protectorate-era
concentration camp at Lety u Písku, a site of the genocide of the Roma during the Second World War. When asked today whether he supports removing Okamura from his post as vice-chair of the lower house, as the Christian Democrats propose, the PM said he considers Okamura's apology to have been sufficient.
 full story

--ilustrační foto--

Czech Republic: Unique "Memory of the Roma" project keeps historical memory alive through video

7.2.2018 7:33
Over a cup of coffee in her apartment in Rokycany, Czech Republic, 67-year-old Květa Tůmová Tomášová recalls the stories of her family, whose roots are in the Šariš region of eastern Slovakia. She talks about labor camps, partisans, the Second World War, the postwar migration to the Czech Republic, her childhood in Rokycany, and the classroom where she and her brother Mírák were the only Romani children.
 full story


Každý diskutující musí dodržovat PRAVIDLA DISKUZE SERVERU Moderátoři serveru si vyhrazují právo bez předchozího upozornění skrýt nevhodné příspěvky z diskuse na 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 ostatním uživatelům.

More articles from category

romea - logo