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Lawmakers to debate police steps during Chinese visit

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Prague, April 12 (CTK) – Czech Interior Minister Milan Chovanec (Social Democrats, CSSD) will have to explain to lawmakers the steps the police took during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent visit to Prague at a special parliamentary session that Jan Hamacek convoked for April 21 yesterday.
Hamacek, chairman of the Chamber of Deputies, convoked the session on the initiative of the rightist opposition TOP 09 and Civic Democrats (ODS).
TOP 09 failed to push its proposal that the Chamber of Deputies deal with the issue at its current regular session yesterday.
TOP 09 chairman Miroslav Kalousek said the police unnecessarily checked and bullied people and restricted the Czech citizens’ rights, including the constitution-embedded right to assembly, during Xi’s visit.
Kalousek said the situation makes the impression as if the police acted based on a central political order. He said these steps cannot be justified by police zeal, which Chovanec claims.
President Milos Zeman, on the contrary, thanked the police for their performance yesterday. He said the work of the police is ungrateful because they often have to prevent the acts of mentally deranged people.
In reaction, Kalousek wrote on Facebook that it is beyond doubt that Zeman and his people instructed the police what to do.
Two police officers who inquired at the Film School of the Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU) about the Tibetan Flag that the school hoisted during Xi’s visit came under the strongest criticism.
Police President Tomas Tuhy had to apologise to the school and the two officers face disciplinary proceedings because of their conduct.
Xi Jinping visited Prague on March 28-30. The police intervened in a number of cases, against both his opponents and supporters.
Chovanec has dismissed the view that the police sided with the Chinese, but Czech activists claim that they were groundlessly bullied.
Kalousek took part in an announced rally in support of Tibet whose participants the police did not allow to enter the closed Hradcany Square outside Prague Castle, where Zeman received Xi Jinping

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