Saturday, 24 August 2019

Minister approves of police response to FAMU's Tibetan flag

11 April 2016

Prague, April 10 (CTK) - Czech Interior Minister Milan Chovanec finds nothing unlawful in the police reaction to the Tibetan flag the Film School of the Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU) hoisted during Chinese President Xi Jinping's recent visit to Prague, he said in a television discussion yesterday.
The police, who entered the FAMU building in connection with the flag hoisting, only acted clumsily and too zealously, Chovanec (Social Democrats, CSSD) said on Prima Television.
He dismissed speculations that the police sided with the Chinese fans of Xi Jinping during the latter's visit on March 28-30.
He said he would resign as minister if it were proved that the police did receive such an instruction.
Apart from the incident at FAMU, the police also intervened in a number of other places during Xi's visit, both against his fans and opponents.
"If [it turned out that] the police were instructed to side with the Chinese and to remove every Tibetan flag which they spotted, I would step down. If such an instruction existed, there is no place for me in politics," Chovanec said, reacting to opposition TOP 09 leader Miroslav Kalousek's criticism of the police action.
FAMU joined the other critics who hoisted Tibetan flags in public in support of all people and groups whose human rights have been violated by the Chinese regime.
Two men, who presented themselves as criminal police officers, entered the FAMU building and asked about the flag.
On Chovanec's request, Police President Tomas Tuhy has submitted a report on the FAMU incident earlier this week.
Chovanec repeated yesterday that he would not disclose information from the report until he meets FAMU dean Pavel Jech on Monday.
He said, nevertheless, that the police did not violate law.
Chovanec dismissed the speculations that Jiri Komorous, head of the police unit for the protection of constitutional officials, was behind the two men's visit to FAMU.
"Mr Komorous enjoys my confidence. I don't think that he was either involved or played any active role in the affair," Chovanec said.
Kalousek said that during the Chinese president's visit, the police undoubtedly obtained instructions from the centre on how to behave.
Chovanec dismissed this resolutely, saying that no such guidelines did not exist.
"If someone issued such an instruction for several hundreds of police, the information would leak in public in ten minutes, on Facebook or Twitter, and it is quite right," Chovanec said.
The police want to disclose the results of the check of the security measures accompanying Xi's visit at the end of next week.

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