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TMCNet:  Czech launches Internet petition against president's amnesty

[January 05, 2013]

Czech launches Internet petition against president's amnesty

PRAGUE, Jan 05, 2013 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- An Internet petition has been initiated in the Czech Republic in protest to the amnesty declared recently by President Vaclav Klaus, the petitioners said Saturday.

More than 60,000 people have signed the Internet petition and another 200,000 have expressed interest in the protest on Facebook social network so far, the petitioners said.

Klaus announced the partial amnesty in his New Year's speech on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Czech Republic's independence.

It applies to convicts with low suspended or prison sentences, elderly convicts and also suspects whose criminal proceedings have lasted for more than eight years.

People mostly criticised that the amnesty would halt proceedings of some serious economic crime cases.

"We consider a similar act mockery of the honest and uneasy work of Czech policemen, state attorneys and judges," the petition said.


The petitioners pointed out that the amnesty is neither the right way of celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Czech Republic's establishment nor a good signal sent to "decent citizens".

In the amnesty, Klaus primarily took the sentence length into consideration as well as other additional attributes, such as the type of prisoner and crime.

"In no case, it concerned and could concern individuals. I think it would be a fatal mistake if I knew concrete cases and decided accordingly. I did not have a single particular case in mind," said Klaus.

The amnesty will apply to some 32,000 people, according to the Justice Ministry's estimation.

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