Friday, 25 April 2014

More than 100 protest for release of Czechs arrested in Greece

27 November 2012

Prague, Nov 26 (CTK) - Some 150 people attended a demonstration in support of two Czechs, Martin Pezlar and Ivan Buchta, detained in Greece over alleged spying outside the Greek embassy yesterday.

The protest's organisers handed a petition signed by 21,000 to the embassy, demanding that Pezlar and Buchta be released.

They want to handed the same petition to the Czech Foreign Ministry this afternoon.

The organisers read a brief statement in which they called the charges unsubstantiated and voiced the conviction that the two men were innocent.

The demonstrators waved banners saying I Give One, Maximally Two Days to Greeks, Return us Our Boys and Let the Boys Go Home and chanted the slogan Release Them!

The police estimated the demonstrators' number at 110-120, the organisers at 150-180.

The two Czechs were arrested on the Lemnos island on September 9. The Greek police arrested them because they allegedly photographed a military area though this is forbidden.

The Czechs may end up in prison for five to 20 years if convicted of espionage.

Last week, Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas spoke about the case with his Greek counterpart Antonis Samaris on the margin of an EU summit in Brussels.

Necas said Samaras had promised to him that he would deal with the case.

In 2011, Lemnos authorities protested against a plan to make the island a virtual battlefield of a new Czech computer game. The authorities argued that this might harm the island's reputation among tourists and be a security threat by making a very detailed map of the terrain widely available.

The two Czechs are employees of Bohemia Interactive, a Czech firm specialising in the development of software for computer games.

Greek media previously wrote that the police said the Czechs took photographs for a new computer game that takes place on Lemnos.

Bohemia Interactive said the two men were not on a working visit to Lemnos. The men said they were on holiday and visited the island as tourists.

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