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Civic groups outraged at limited civic rights during Xi’s visit

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Prague, April 1 (CTK) – A number of anti-corruption groups and personalities fell outraged at the limitation of civic rights during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s three-day visit to the Czech Republic last week, Alma Benesova, secretary of the Return the State To Us group, told journalists on Friday.

They sent a letter to lawmakers and government members asking them to have the unfounded measures and all incidents in which Czech citizens were attacked investigated.

The government and President Milos Zeman should stand up for Czech citizens and protest against the steps taken by the Chinese embassy during the visit, Benesova said.

“Prague’s streets were dominated by nationals of a different state who behaved in a monstrous way towards our own citizens, as if they were not guests, but rulers here,” the protest letter said.

“In addition, the Czech citizens who dared to express their protest against the current Chinese regime and its representatives by hoisting the Tibetan flag were maltreated by the police as if they were enemies of the state,” it added.

The letter was signed by the Return the State To Us representatives, philosopher Vaclav Nemec, lawyer and former dissident Hana Marvanova, analyst Petr Havlik and other personalities from the public life.

The Greens, too, protested against the police conduct during Xi’s visit.

“The police are not protecting fundamental civic rights such as the right to the freedom of speech and assembly, obviously siding with those who violate the freedom,” party deputy chairman Michal Berg said.

Senator Eliska Wagnerova said the police had behaved “like an armed force of the president.”

“They are not serving the order and security of the people in this state, but the interest of the president,” she added.

Xi Jinping and Zeman signed 30 deals at the close of Xi’s visit.

According to them, Chinese investors might invest up to 230 billion crowns in the Czech Republic by 2020.

The visit was accompanied by strict security measures and unusual behaviour of Chinese demonstrators, who advocated Xi Jinping. Critics say they grossly attacked the protesters against China’s human rights record.

The Chinese activists were trying to cover up the demonstrators’ banner with their own flags.

Czech protesters said the police had intervened against them, not the aggressive Chinese demonstrators.

The government has approved of the police conduct that is yet to be checked by the police inspection.

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