Czech Republic: Govt Ethics Commission finds Hate Free project manager did not commit unethical behavior
News server Romea.cz has been informed that the Ethics Commission of the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic has decided that Nikola Křístek has not committed any behavior that violates the Code of Ethics for employees of the Office of the Government. Křístek was once the head of the Government's Campaign against Racism and Hate Violence, a component of which is the Hate Free Culture project.
The financing of Hate Free Culture has been questioned by the Czech daily Mf DNES, which reported that when Křístek was running the campaign he was also working for the AISIS association, which then won a public tender to implement part of the campaign worth CZK 5 million (EUR 185 000). "Today a draft text for publication should arrive at the press department of the Office of the Government, and I believe that I will be able to send you the public statement of the Office of the Government by tomorrow at the latest," Křístek told Romea.cz on Monday.
News server Aktuálně.cz reported yeterday evening that Czech Human Rights Minister Jan Chvojka has issued his own statement on the decision. "Today I learned of the conclusion of the Ethics Commission, according to which Mr Křístek did not violate the Code of Ethics of the Office of the Government. In that respect, the media concern over this issue has not been confirmed. The justification of the decision does show that the media was not in error when it reported that Mr Křístek was in an employment relationship with the association which then won a public tender to implement part of that campaign for the Office of the Government. That was the reason I asked the management of the Office of the Government to investigate this matter. I am convinced that having it assessed by the Ethics Commission was the correct move to make, as it has made it possible to definitively, unequivocally clarify this entire matter," Chvojka told Aktuálně.cz.
The Hate Free Culture project combats the dissemination of hate speech and xenophobia and refutes untrue reports (hoaxes), mainly in the Internet environment, and has been 80 % financed by a grant from Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway and 20 % financed by the Czech Republic. The project was planned for three years and will end in April according to plan.
According to a press release from Chvojka's office, sustainability of the project will be provided for according to the rules of the grant. News server Romea.cz is still waiting for an official statement on the Ethics Commission investigation from the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic.
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