Friday, April 24, 2009

Czech police arrest racist leader David Duke

from ČeskéNoviny: Czech police arrest former Ku Klux Klan leader Duke

Prague - The Czech police arrested David Duke, former leader of the Ku Klux Klan racist movement, in Prague today on suspicion of promotion of movements seeking suppression of human rights, Prague police spokesman told CTK.

Arriving in the Czech Republic at the invitation of local neo-Nazis, Duke was to give lectures in Prague and Brno.

Duke, a U.S. citizen, is suspected of denying or approving of the Nazi genocide and other Nazi crimes. This crime is punishable by up to three years in prison in the Czech Republic.

According to an Internet text signed by Filip Vavra, who is linked to the neo-Nazi National Resistance group, Duke has visited the Czech Republic in order to promote his book My Awakening.

Czech lawyer Klara Kalibova said some passages of the book can be interpreted as an effort at justifying or challenging the Holocaust.

Czech police are reportedly focusing on the book as well.

Duke was to give three lectures in the Czech Republic. The first was to take place at Prague's Charles University, but the university has banned it.

The other two lectures were to be held in the centre of Prague on Saturday and in Brno, capital of Moravia, on Sunday, according to the website presenting Duke's visit.

Some Czech politicians assessed Duke's visit negatively earlier this week. Disapproving stand in this respect has been expressed by Interior Minister Ivan Langer and Human Rights and Minorities Minister Michael Kocab.

A lecture Duke was to give at Prague's Charles University was banned by the administration of that university earlier this week (read here).

According to news reports (read here):

Duke's visit came at the time of high political tensions following Saturday's neo-Nazi demonstration in the northern Czech town of Usti nad Labem and an assault on a Romany family in the northeastern Czech Opava region.
The Roma website has extraordinary coverage of this violent neo-Nazi anti-Roma demonstration here, a piece on the attack on the Romani family here, and coverage of the counter-demonstrations here. Their correspondents indicate that the police were "callous" in their treatment of the counter-demonstrators and that the police and the federal government have not been responsive to requests by the Roma community for protection from the neo-Nazis (read here).

The racist rally was cosponsored by the leader of the neo-Nazi National Resistance Party Filip Vavra, who is also apparently hosting David Duke's visit. Vavra has a website which is viewable here in Google translation.

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