Thursday, 23 November 2017

ODS, TOP 09 heads denounce detention of protester against Zeman

ČTK |
10 November 2017

Prague, Nov 9 (CTK) - The police action against the man who switched on music in protest of a rally of Czech President Milos Zeman is a sort of return before 1989, ODS Petr Fiala, leader of the Civic Democratic Party (ODS), and Jiri Pospisil, who may run for TOP 09 leader, tweeted in reaction to the incident on Thursday.

Plainclothes police detained Jaroslav Hensl for having switched on music at the rally Zeman held in Lipnik nad Becvou during his visit to the north Moravian Olomouc Region on Wednesday and he may be fined up to 15,000 crowns, regional police spokesman Libor Hejtmanek has said.

Later on Thursday, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec (Social Democrats, CSSD) said he had asked the Police Presidium to check the officers' intervention in Lipnik nad Becvou.

The media reports arouse questions the police must clearly answer, Chovanec tweeted.

In reaction to him, the Police Presidium announced that it had asked the police directorate in the Olomouc Region to submit an informative report about the intervention and that the report is to be completed on Friday.

Hensl, 51, one of the protesters against the visit, let play the legendary song "Prayer for Marta," a symbol of the national resistance after the Soviet-led occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1968 that crushed the Prague Spring reform movement.

Its singer, Marta Kubisova, was a dissident under the Communist regime.

"O.K., the republic will not allow any sedition," Fiala tweeted, alluding to a slogan of the former Communist regime.

"Loud music, detention of the delinquents. Is it not the news from 1977 broken by some error?" Fiala asked.

Pospisil, too, said the police action was a sort of return before the 1989 fall of the Communist regime.

"How often has it happened to you that your neighbour had his music playing aloud? How often has he been arrested by the police? Is it an excess? Or a return before 89?" he asked.

TOP 09 leader Miroslav Kalousek proposed to make a "comparative try." "I propose that next time the Russian and Chinese national anthems be played. Let us see what the police will do," he added in a veiled reference to Zeman's foreign political line within which he has fostered friendly relations with Russia and China.

Hensl has dismissed the idea that the protesters intruded on the rally.

"We were there as a protest group with red cards. We let the music play with which we wanted to attract attention to us. We did not violate any law," Hensl said.

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