Czech Republic: Five charged with promoting Nazism on Facebook
Five men from Kroměříž have been charged with promoting Nazism on the Facebook social networking site. The men used their profiles to publish video footage of Nazi symbols and music videos with neo-Nazi themes. The lyrics to the music featured a racist subtext inciting hatred against people not of the "Aryan" race, Kroměříž District State Prosecutor Pavel Pukovec told the Czech Press Agency last week. If found guilty, the men face between three and 10 years in prison.
The men charged are from the towns of Holešov and Kroměříž and are between the ages of 19 and 28. They are alleged to have committed the crimes between February and November of last year. "Greetings and symbols of Hitler's Third Reich are featured in the video clips. Moreover, one of those charged posted photographs and information on the web regarding a music group promoting Nazism and invited people to their concerts. He actively participated in one unpermitted event of that nature as well," Pukovec said.
The men know one another and communicated with one another through the internet. During house searches, police officers confiscated the computers from which the men had published the videos and found illegal software on the computers of two of those charged. Detectives have charged all of the suspects with founding, supporting and promoting a movement aimed at suppressing human rights and freedoms. The two whose computers contained illegal software have also been charged with copyright violation. Their trial is scheduled for December.
At the end of last year, a similar case turned up in Hodonín district. Police officers there are also charging a 22-year-old youth with promoting Nazism on Facebook. The man collected photos and videos with the themes of Adolf Hitler and Nazism on his profile, including links to clips of neo-Nazi music gropus and extremist organizations. The materials were freely available to all viewers and the youth allegedly posted positive comments about them.
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