Internet platform for studying Xenophobia, Radicalism and Problems of Intercultural communication.

Incitement of Hatred

Incitement of Hatred Czech neo-Nazis.

Czech far-right actively uses the problem of interethnic tension for inciting hatred in society. In June 2013, a number of Czech media representatives published information that the initiative group of 1 900 residents Duchcov filed a petition to the Government of the Czech Republic, demanding the deportation of Roma from the country, or to force them to obey its laws. The signatories claimed that their life, health and property are threatened by violence and threats that come from the Roma living with them in the neighborhood. According to the authors of the petition, the Roma, existing on benefits, which are taken from their taxes cannot adapt to a normal life in the Czech Republic, and therefore should be deported from the country.

The reason for writing this petition was an attack of Roma on a young teen Czech couple in May 2013. The petition was joined by many residents of the neighboring Litvinov, who declared it a city of “zero tolerance” towards Roma. A number of anti-Roma publications appeared in the Czech media in July 2013 after a quarrel broke out on a playground between the children of Roma and Czechs in Ceske Budejovice. Ethnic clashes between adult residents of the city occurred.

The situation in these cities was used by extremists from the neo-Nazi Workers' Party of Social Justice and the right-wing organization “Czech Lions”, who managed to lead the protest making a radical anti-Roma slogans.

Analysis of Czech media reports on Roma in 2014 indicates that an absolute majority of them (80%) was about so-called “gypsy crime” – thus reinforcing the image of Roma as criminal people. It was also revealed that media outlets often fail to verify information about “gypsy crime”, publishing false and unverified reports.

On May 25, for example, Nova TV reported that a Roma man allegedly murdered a man for stealing a sausage.

Prima TV published six anti-Roma reports in April-May 2014. On June 7, a newspaper in Budisov published an article about Roma allegedly murdering a local man, which almost caused an anti-Roma riot that was successfully prevented by police.

In 2013 double-digit growth of anti-Semitic material on the Internet was recorded. If in 2011, 26 anti-Semitic articles videos, etc. were found, in 2012 - 82, then in 2013 it was revealed there were 156 articles with anti-Semitic content. And if in 2012 the Jewish community explained the growth of anti-Semitic publications in Internet as a consequence to the response to the operation in Gaza in November 2012 and the participation of Jewish J. Fisher in the presidential election , then in 2013 nothing particular happened and the Jewish community tried to explain the increase in anti-Semitism the network this year as “the general strengthening of the influence of right-wing parties”.

On May 8th the pre-election clip of the “No to Brussels! National democracy” movement surfaced. It was of anti-Semitic character. A. Bartosz, leader of the movement, acting in the tradition of “new anti-Semitism”, tried to insist that the clip is “anti-Zionist” by nature, however it was still banned on television. Bartosz also stated that his movement opposes homosexuality and freemasonry. In August, Bartosz openly called for restrictions on residence permits for immigrants under the slogan “We don’t want Ebola on the streets of Prague”.

Deputy Mayor of Prostejov Alena Raskova (Social Democratic Party) told a local newspaper that Roma are unwilling to study and work, because they get too many social benefits and fake illnesses to receive more.

ODS party also used anti-Roma rhetoric, while TOP 09 party promoted Russophobia, which coincided with the events in Ukraine.

A popular Czech video advert for a restaurant specializing in beef steaks, which aired in December 2014, insulted many Slovaks. The protagonist of the advert was an unintelligent Slovak, and the slogan of ad was: “All cows are happy here!”. The Polish Embassy also expressed a note of protest about the advertising clip depicting the Poles as scammers. The authors of the videos in both cases accused their critics of having no sense of humour.

In the Czech Republic, there is a number of media outlets spreading interethnic discord and hostility towards foreign nationals. They disseminate slanderous information about the fact that foreigners are allegedly the main distributors of crime and viral diseases in the Czech Republic. These sites publish personal information about anti-fascists and public figures who do not share right-wing radical views.

At the turn of the 20s. In the 21st century, the trend of hate has continued in the Czech Republic, which is no longer the prerogative of "extremists" as they have traditionally been defined, but rather the prerogative of disinformation media and populist, xenophobic groups. According to the Czech Interior Ministry, published in its report on manifestations of extremism in 2019, the far-right scene in the "traditional" sense was completely filled with xenophobic groups.

Hate speech about Roma, Muslims, migrants and Jews has been circulating on social media, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. According to the Federation of Jewish Communities of the Czech Republic, in 2018 alone, in 64% of cases, the content of false, vulgar or stereotypical statements about Jews dominated; it was very common to spread conspiracy theories about the myth of world Jewry, its control over the media, the economy, governments and other public institutions. Incidents of new anti-Semitism, the application to Israel of standards of conduct not applicable to other democracies, or the collective blaming of Jews for the actions of the State of Israel accounted for less than 29% of all reported incidents. In May 2018, an increased number of incidents were recorded when manifestations of anti-Semitism were shaped, in particular, by the relocation of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and the subsequent riots in Gaza.

According to information received from the presidents of individual courts , during the study period from 2016 to June 2019, district courts ruled in a total of 47 cases of online hate speech. During the relevant period (from 2016 to mid-2019), only a minority of district courts (25 out of 86, i.e. 29%) dealt with online hate speech cases. Moreover, for most of these twenty-five courts, it was a rare experience. Prosecutions for online hate speech often follow specific cases that have received media coverage and are not the result of regular and systematic monitoring of illegal online content. The number of judgments issued against hate speech on the Internet is clearly increasing year by year.

In the majority of cases (60% of decisions), hate speech considered by Czech courts was directed against entire groups of people, defined by nationality (národnost), ethnicity, skin color, religion, sexual orientation, etc. Approximately in one-third of the decisions, these statements were directed against a specific person or group of specific individuals. Most often, the victims were Roma and Muslims (49% and 23% of decisions, respectively).

Almost all hate speech cases handled by Czech courts were male perpetrators (94% of cases), with no evidence of minority affiliation (94%) and no criminal record (91%). The majority of incidents (83%) heard by the courts took place on Facebook. In 43 out of 47 cases (91%), the perpetrator was convicted.

From the end of February 2022, a wave of Russophobia began in the Czech Republic associated with military operations in Ukraine. It consisted, for example, that a group of hotels announced a boycott of holders of Russian and Belarusian passports, and some real estate companies announced that they would no longer sell real estate to Russian citizens. Russian students were bullied in schools, someone spat on the street at a student speaking Russian on the phone, someone shouted: “Die soon, Russian bitch!” a journalist of Russian origin, someone humiliated a Russian-speaking Ukrainian and an Armenian, and a taxi driver threw a woman out of the car because she spoke Russian to her child, etc. The wave of Russophobia, in its causes and logic of distribution, resembles the regular outbursts of associated anti-Semitism that arises in Europe every time the situation in the Middle East escalates. It is based on associative prejudices that equate Jews and Israel, its policy in the eyes of xenophobes.

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