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Security council debates punishment of foreign fighters

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Prague, Feb 17 (CTK) – The Czech National Security Council (BRS) debated Wednesday possibilities of punishing people who joined the military of Islamic State or another terrorist organisation and its members also spoke about security measures at Czech international airports, according to a press release.

The council members also spoke about the current situation related to the spread of the Zika virus infection that has hit Latin America. The first cases of it have already been registered in Europe.

“There is no risk of transmission of the virus in the Czech Republic now,” the Government Office said in the press release.

Health Minister Svatopluk Nemecek (Social Democrats, CSSD) informed the council of what measures the Czech Republic has taken in this connection.

According to previous information, possible infection tests would be taken by laboratories of the National Institute of Public Health in Prague, Ostrava, north Moravia, and Usti nad Labem, north Bohemia.

Since the disease is not transmitted between people, the system of managing most infectious diseases would not have to be activated in case of an infection suspicion.

The BRS dealt with the issue of foreign fighters leaving to fight for Islamic State and posing a possible security threat after their return in spite of the fact that the Czech Republic does not face any such threat according to available information.

The government said last year already such militants can be prosecuted according to valid legislation. It reacted to a proposal by the opposition Dawn movement and a few lawmakers of the government ANO movement explicitly introducing the possibility of prosecuting these people in the penal code.

The Czechs who would be fighting for certain organisations can be prosecuted on suspicion of terrorist attack or another crime, mainly acts against life and health. Life sentence could even be imposed on the perpetrators of a terrorist attack, according to the previous proposal.

The BRS members also discussed an analysis of dangers threatening the country and the current state of the Viktoriagruppe case.

It involves oil that the Czech Republic has in the stores of the firm in Bavaria that has gone bankrupt.

The Administration of State Material Reserves filed a complaint against an unknown perpetrator in this connection last December.

The BRS bestowed the Jaroslav Janda Award for significant contribution to the Czech Republic’s security policy on the Institute of Political Studies of the Faculty of Social Sciences of Charles University in Prague.

The council praised the institute’s “activity in the sphere of security policy within the Czech Republic and on international level, particularly in the spheres of education and scientific activities,” the press release said.

Wednesday’s BRS meeting has been the first since the scandal involving a possible leak of confidential information on the Czechs who were detained in Lebanon and the ransom paid for two women kidnapped in Afghanistan in 2013.

The Government Office did not say whether the BRS dealt with it, or not.

The BRS is the government’s permanent body proposing and coordinating security measures.

It is comprised of the prime minister and deputy prime ministers and eight ministers, including those of the interior, defence, health and foreign affairs.

Other permanent participants in its meetings are the Government Office head, the chairperson of the State Material Reserves Administration and the Czech National Bank governor.

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