Czech Prosecutor General appeals case to Supreme Court, says antisemitic death threats are a crime, not a misdemeanor
Czech Prosecutor General Pavel Zeman has said he disagrees with a case of antisemitic death threats addressed to the Jewish Community in Prague being ruled a misdemeanor. He has appealed a recent such ruling and believes the author of the threats committed a felony.
The Czech Supreme Court will now decide the appeal, the text of which has been published online by the Prosecutor General. The message at issue, full of hatred, vulgarities and grammatical errors, was posted by the author in 2018 through an online contact form on the website of the Jewish Community.
In the message, the author called Jewish people "insects", "parasites", and a "plague". "You yourselves are to blame for those Holocausts of yours," she wrote, adding the message "Hitler is coming for you" and the wish that Jewish people would be either annihilated or move to Israel.
The Jewish Community contacted the police and the woman was charged with committing violence against a group and its individual members. The District Court for Prague 1 found her guilty, but because she had simultaneously been convicted in a different case, did not sentence her.
The woman appealed and the Municipal Court in Prague overturned the first-instance decision and sent the case instead to a misdemeanor commission. The appeals court expressed doubt as to whether the threats were capable of giving rise to reasonable concern that they would be realized, which is what would have justified their being considered a felony.
According to the Prosecutor General, however, such doubts are inappropriate given the historical context, and mentioning "annihilation" is difficult to assess in any way other than as a threat to kill people, especially since the author was mentioning Adolf Hitler, the Nazi dictator. "It is, after all, a generally known and an unquestionable fact that Nazi German policy was primarily focused exactly on ethnic Jews and was based, among other things, on the systematic harassment, persecution and mass destruction of persons of Jewish origin in particular," the appeal reads.
Prosecutors also referenced the growing number of antisemitic attacks ongoing in Europe today. According to Zeman, the accused woman never denied committing the illegal behavior, stands by what she wrote, and considers it to have been an exercise of her right to freely express her opinions.
Zeman said such expressions of hatred toward a minority cannot be protected within the framework of freedom of speech. He ia asking the Supreme Court to return the case to the Municipal Court in Prague to continue the proceeding.
- Czech ultra-right oppose vaccinations against COVID-19 with antisemitic caricature
- Czechs to protest COVID-19 measures on national holiday tomorrow - including neo-Nazis reviving antisemitic tropes
- Commentary: Work on antisemitism by US professor reminds us of antigypsyism in the Czech Republic today
- Antigypsyism and antisemitism rooted in European culture for centuries, experts discuss the causes of online hate
- Czech Police intervene against yet another publisher of antisemitic books
- MEPs condemn rise of antisemitism in Europe, Czech MEP defends Hungary, blames migration
- Czech Police investigate distribution of antisemitic book after media reports
- Czech Federation of Jewish Communities logged 347 antisemitic incidents last year, police addressed 15
- 1 May march by Czech neo-Nazis was dispersed and torches were put out, but antisemitic abuse was expressed
- Czech Police say most hate crimes last year were against Roma, number of antisemitic attacks declined
- Romani Rose: Society must condemn antigypsyism just as it condemns antisemitism
- Provocateur calls sale of former Roma genocide site to the Czech state a form of "antisemitism", Jewish community disagrees
- Czech Police investigating anonymous antisemitic letter in Prostějov
- Out-of-town youth assault Romani child and then other Roma in Sokolov - Czech Police defused the conflict and are investigating, local Roma not happy with their response
- Romani women and children in Slovakia assaulted physically and verbally by stranger at a lake
- Commentary: David Mezei, false prophet, and the Romani elite of the Czech Republic
- Dozens of Roma protest in front of restaurant in Czech town after food server allegedly assaults a Romani woman, police are investigating
- Czech MP alleges during parliamentary debate on welfare bill that incest is part of Romani culture, open racism on the floor of the lower house
- Assembly against discrimination and racism in Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic attended mostly by Romani people
- Chair of the Czech Helsinki Committee: Czech society is racist towards Romani people
- UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Don't deny racism, eliminate it!
- More Roma citizens of Romania attempting to cross from Mexico into the USA to seek asylum this year
- Football hooligans and neo-Nazis blame all Roma for violent crime and march through Czech town, riot police deployed
- Czech extremists move from inciting anti-Romani hatred to railing against "COVID terror" ahead of fall elections
- Czech appeals court exceptionally reduces sentence for social media user who approved of Christchurch massacre, notes current law is imbalanced