Some Czech extremists protest against Pechanec's imprisonment
Some 50 extremists today protested against the imprisonment of Vlastimil Pechanec who is serving a 17-year sentence in the Bory prison for the racially motivated murder of Romany Ota Absolon, which they say is unjust.
The demonstration brought together skinheads, nationalists and members of the Workers' Party.
The meeting was followed from a distance by another group of people, probably supporters of the extreme left.
The authorities first banned the protest several times, but the Regional Court in Plzen eventually authorised it.
Pechanec, 27, a skinhead movement supporter, was sent to prison for 13 years by the east Bohemian regional court in October 2002.
The Supreme Court increased the sentence by four years in appeals proceedings.
The murder happened at a discotheque in Svitavy, east Bohemia, in July 2001. Pechanec was charged with using abusive racial language against the Romany and of subsequently stabbing him twice in the stomach. The 33-year-old Romany died in hospital.
Pechanec has denied his guilt since the very beginning. He claimed that he parted with skinheads in 1996. Yet, a poem glorifying the murder started to spread among neo-Nazis a few weeks after the murder, and Pechanec corresponded with a few neo-Nazis when in custody.
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