Friday, 25 April 2014

Ministers criticise Czech Television's allegedly racist info on amnesty

10 January 2013

Prague,Jan 9 (CTK) - Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas (Civic Democrats, ODS) said Wednesday a majority of ministers criticised what he called the racist way the public Czech Television (CT) used in providing information on people being released from prison within the recently granted presidential amnesty.

Culture Minister Alena Hanakova (for TOP 09) should consider filing a complaint with the Radio and Television Broadcasting Council, Necas said.

Daniela Nemcova, CT communication director, dismissed the accusation of racism.

CT director Petr Dvorak told CTK that he will not comment on the statement until he knows the details.

President Vaclav Klaus declared an extensive amnesty on the 20th anniversary of the Czech Republic in his New Year's speech. About 6300 people have been released from prison as yet.

The amnesty pardons some prisoners as well as people given suspended sentences and halts criminal prosecution that continued for minimally eight years and the punishment does not carry more than ten years.

Critics from across the political spectrum say this will also cover some corruption and fraud cases.

"A crushing majority of government members share the negative stand on the relatively racist way Czech Television reported on the amnesty as if the released came only from one ethnic group," Necas said after Wednesday's government meeting, probably hinting at Romanies.

The controversial amnesty was the main point on the meeting's agenda.

"Czech Television discriminates against no one in its broadcasts, but on the contrary, it has long focused on the issues of human rights and minorities. In reporting on the amnesty it applies the same editorial rules like in any other broadcasts of similar programmes," Nemcova told CTK.

"In its broadcasts it has not made any difference between the ethnic or any other origin of the amnestied," she said.

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