Dec 05, 2023

Czech Mayor Under Investigation for Controversial Post on Palestinians

Prague’s police are investigating Řeporyje Mayor Pavel Novotný (ODS) for calling Palestinians “monkeys” on social media and suggesting their bombing.

The now-deleted 100-word post on the X platform referenced a Jerusalem attack and came a day after Defense Minister Jana Černochová “liked” a similar post by Novotný, who has faced similar prosecutions in the past.

While Novotný’s father is Jewish, the ODS spokesperson called such statements unacceptable.

Legal experts say each alleged hate crime requires assessing freedom of expression limits and incident context. Incitement brings over two years of imprisonment under the Criminal Code.

The mayor of Řeporyje wanted to run as an ODS candidate for the lower house in 2021, but his criminal record prevented him from doing so, according to the party’s bylaws.

“I am on probation, which is about to expire. I am looking forward to trying to run for something again if I am off parole. In a little while I will be as clean as a lily,” Novotný told Seznam Zprávy.

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The Civic Democratic Party distanced itself from Novotný’s statements.

“In the Civic Democratic Party we reject any manifestations of calls for violence and racism. Mayor Pavel Novotný has apologised for the inappropriate tweet,” Jakub Skyva, a spokesperson for the ODS, told Seznam Zprávy.

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