Expressing support for Russia or Putin could be prosecuted in Czechia

The move to criminalize any voicing of support for Putin or Russia is sure to spark freedom of expression concerns in Czechia

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: John Cody

Public support for Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine could constitute a criminal offense in the Czech Republic, the country’s Prosecutor General’s Office has confirmed.

Igor Stříž, the current prosecutor general of Czechia, published a statement on Feb. 26 In a statement published on Feb. 26, in which he warned Putin sympathizers that support of the Russian attack or expressed support or praise for Russian President Vladimir Putin and others, could see them face criminal liability, according to Verenjnazaloba.cz.

If it meets certain conditions, such support, either online or in person could find those responsible prosecuted “for the criminal offense of approving a criminal offense pursuant to Section 365 of the Criminal Code, or for the criminal offense of denying, questioning, approving and justifying genocide pursuant to Section 405 of the Criminal Code.

“Freedom of speech is enshrined in the constitutional law level in Article 17 of the Charter fundamental rights and freedoms,” Stříž told Czech residents, insisting that “everyone has the right to express their views in a way they consider appropriate,” but warned that limits to “freedom of speech in a democratic state” are “governed by the rule of law.”

As such, the prosecutor general urged Czech residents not to resort to public statements “that would go beyond the constitutional requirements and legal restrictions.”

The Ukrainian Embassy in Czechia tweeted that there were already two cases of detainees accused of contravening the above sections of the Criminal Code.

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