Czech authorities have warned that people in the Czech Republic could face up to three years in prison for justifying Moscow’s conflict with Kiev.
Czech law enforcement authorities are dealing with an increasing number of cases linked to public approval of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, iRozhlas news agency reported on Saturday, citing police data. The authorities of the European Union member state criminalized the public expression of its support for Moscow in its conflict with Kiev.
Endorsing the Russian military operation in Ukraine at demonstrations or online, as well as praising or supporting senior Russian officials could be treated as “Consent to crime”or “denying, questioning, approving or justifying genocide” Under the Czech Criminal Code, the country’s prosecutor’s office warned in February 2022.
Police say they have investigated hundreds of complaints related to this type of action since the beginning of the conflict. Police spokesman Ondrej Moravcsik told iRozhlas that the number of criminal cases opened over public support for Russia had reached 384. He added that charges had been brought against nearly 100 people.
According to the spokesman, the courts have already issued rulings in some cases. The official did not reveal how many cases had reached the courts or whether anyone had been sentenced to prison for supporting Russia. According to Moravcik, the police stop pursuing these cases after handing them over to the Public Prosecution for charges.
Under the Czech Criminal Code, consent to a crime is punishable by imprisonment of up to one year. Those proven guilty by denial or justification “Genocide” He could spend between six months and three years in prison.
The Czech authorities faced severe public criticism because of their support for Kiev and its relations with the United States. In September, about 10,000 people participated in a march in the capital, Prague, demanding the government’s resignation due to its pro-Western policies.
The demonstration was organized by the opposition Law, Respect and Experience Party. The demonstrators demanded that Prague use its veto power against any attempt by Ukraine to join NATO, and added that the Czech Republic should withdraw from the US-led bloc.
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