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Extreme right activists demonstrate for skinhead in jail
21-02-2004 - CTK

Roughly 40 ultra right activists demonstrated in support of Vlastimil Pechanec (Photo: CTK) PRAGUE - Roughly 40 ultra right activists demonstrated outside the Justice Ministry in support of Vlastimil Pechanec, who was sentenced for the murder of a Romany, outside the Justice Ministry for about 15 minutes today.

The police did not have to intervene.

"Pechanec is innocent and he is the victim of the judiciary," Jan Kopal, the former head of the National Social Bloc, told the rally.

Roughly 40 ultra right activists demonstrated in support of Vlastimil Pechanec (Photo: CTK) Pechanec, a 23-year-old skinhead, was sentenced by the Prague High Court last March to 17 years in prison for a racially- motivated murder of a Romany man.

The rally was organised by the petition committee "For Independent Courts." Kopal said that courts had a different approach to the cases with the involvement of former skinheads.

He told the crowd that he was for equality before law.

Roughly 40 ultra right activists demonstrated in support of Vlastimil Pechanec (Photo: CTK) "There is no freedom and democracy in this country," Kopal said. Pechanec is a political prisoner, who was sentenced for his views and for his being a member of the skinhead movement, not for what he really did, he added.

"The Justice Ministry keeps receiving one Gypsy delegation after another. There is something foul in the state of the Czech Republic," Kopal said.

"Brothers and sisters, this demonstration is a ray of the light of hope we would like to send to all those wronged and sentenced unfairly, to all those who were humiliated instead of being given justice," a speaker told the crowd.

Shortly before the rally, anarchists attacked some groups of skinheads in the Prague metro. Two of the latter were taken with lacerations in a hospital.

There was a skirmish at the Charles Square metro station at 1:40 p.m., Prague police spokeswoman Eva Miklikova said. About ten anarchists aged around 20 attacked a group of skinheads, she added.

"The assailants were armed with telescopic cudgels, they had cyclist helmets and some of them scarves on their faces," Miklikova said.

Anarchists pushed two skinheads to the ground, beat and kicked them, she added.

Before the police came to the scene, the attackers escaped, Miklikova said.

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