Social media hate crime case ends up in Czech Supreme Court

Protesting lack of reaction by the local Plzen court system, the Czech prosecutor general has taken a social media hate crime case to the Supreme Court.

Sofija Kordic
Sofija Kordic NewsMavens, Czechia
Social media hate crime case ends up in Czech Supreme Court - NewsMavens
Refugees in Hungary, Flickr Commons

Why this story matters:

In February this year a Czech woman commented on a news video showing refugee families found in trucks and later put onto buses.

“And we will pay for them… Why didn’t they rather burn those buses”, she wrote and went on to defend her attitude towards refugees in further discussion.  

“It would be hard to imagine more fierce speech of hatred, than this manifestation of desire for the brutal physical liquidation of a specific group of people”, wrote the prosecutor general, Pavel Zeman, in his appeal to the Supreme Court.  

These type of comments in a democratic society, according to the Czech prosecutor general, can’t be defended under freedom of speech laws because they degrade the human dignity of a specific group of people.

Details from the story:

  • In May, the District Court in the city of Plzen sent the case to the offense committee of the district, noting that the woman had a clean criminal record and was not connected to extreme organizations.
  • The County Court in Plzen rejected the complaint of Prosecutor General Pavel Zeman, stating that the woman didn’t directly encourage anybody to burn the buses.
  • The prosecutor general didn’t agree with the opinions of both courts in Plzen and filed the case with the Supreme Court. “The intensity of hatred, which manifested in the woman who wished the migrants to burn, in and of itself encourages others to hate.”
  • The Czech prosecutor general considers hate speech on the internet to be an extreme problem in society.

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