Czechia, a NATO and EU member state, has threatened its citizens with a three-year prison sentence for expressing support for Russia in the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
A press release by the country’s Attorney General Igor Stříž stated: “The Supreme Public Prosecutor’s Office considers it necessary to inform citizens that the current situation associated with the Russian Federation’s attack on Ukraine may have implications for their freedom of expression.”
“Freedom of speech also has its limits in a democratic state governed by the rule of law,” the AG added.
He continued to explain that people who “publicly (including at demonstrations, on the internet or on social networks) agreed (accepted or supported the Russian Federation’s attacks on Ukraine) or expressed support or praised the leaders of the Russian Federation in this regard, they could also face criminal liability under certain conditions.”
The new restrictions are being enforced under the criminal code measures, which make it a crime to question, deny, justify, or approve genocide.
Radio Prague International’s report explained that violating the criminal code could result in a three-year prison sentence. But the AG admitted that bringing charges would be challenging.
The official Twitter account of the Czech police said it was monitoring comments on the internet about “discussions approving the Russian invasion and the activities of the Russian army.”