Czech senator fined for racist verbal attack, will appeal
Czech Senator Vladimír Dryml (previously a member of the Czech Social Democrats and the Citizens' Rights Party for Zeman), who is the director of the Vrchlabí Hospital, was fined today by the Senate Committee on Parliamentary Immunity for committing a racist verbal attack on a Yemeni physician. The senator intends to appeal the verdict.
Czech Senator Jiří Oberfalzer (Civic Democrats - ODS), the committee chair, did not want to comment on the verdict, saying the committee's sessions are always closed. He did say, however, that Drmyl has the option of appealing the decision to a plenary session of the upper chamber.
News server Novinky.cz reports that Dryml has been fined CZK 20 000 for telling a Yemeni physician working for an ambulance in Hradec Králové to "Go back where you came from." The committee found his statement to constitute misdemeanor racially-motivated assault.
The senator claims he was provoked into making the remark. "Of course I will appeal. That doctor provoked me with his behavior and his diatribes, saying things like 'We're keeping an eye on you, you f*&#ing senators.' When I told him that if he didn't want to obey the laws of this country he should go back where he came from, he filed charges against me. He didn't just insult me, he insulted the entire Senate," Dryml told news server Novinky.cz.
The incident happened last June, when a helicopter ambulance landed on the campus of the Vrchlabí Hospital after allegedly being summoned at the last minute. The helicopter flew there from Hradec Králové to pick up a patient who had suffered an acute myocardial infarction (heart attack).
"Dr Dryml asked who was leading the intervention and who was in charge and what we were doing on the heliport without his permission. He shouted that we weren't supposed to be there and that I should go back where I came from. I was offended, as I am from the Arab world," the Yemeni physician described the incident.
Several emergency medical technicians who were present have confirmed the Yemeni physician's version of events. Dryml claims he never intended to racially insult anyone and said he was merely pointing out that laws and security rules had to be obeyed on the campus of the private hospital.
The case was originally to have been handled by the Vrchlabí Municipality Misdemeanor Commission. It was Dryml who requested that it be heard by the Senate committee instead.
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