Czech senior Muslim facing disciplinary proceedings over call for Czech Muslims to arm themselves

The chairman of the supervisory board of the Czech Bar Association (CAK) has lodged a disciplinary complaint about lawyer and former official of the Muslim community Leonid Kushnarenko

ČTK

Written by ČTK Published on 12.09.2019 11:04:35 (updated on 12.09.2019) Reading time: 1 minute

Prague, Sept 12 (CTK) – The chairman of the supervisory board of the Czech Bar Association (CAK) has lodged a disciplinary complaint about lawyer and former official of the Muslim community Leonid Kushnarenko over his call on Czech Muslims to arm themselves in reaction to the shooting in the mosques in Christchurch, CAK spokeswoman Iva Chaloupkova told CTK today.

Kushnarenko released the video footage with the appeal this March, two days after the massacre in New Zealand. He did so as the chairman of the Prague Muslim community.

“In the light of the latest tragic events I notify all our members, men in particular: all those interested in getting a gun licence should arm themselves for the sake of the protection of property and health. Turn to me and I will help you with it,” the message said.

Shortly afterwards, CAK secretary Ladislav Krym asked to investigate Kushnarenko’s conduct.

Krym said lawyers’ conduct should be reserved in general. The public can perceive the appeal to create an armed group of people very negatively.

Krym warned that Kushnarenko might have been guilty of a disciplinary delict, especially if the appeal included an offer of help to gain the gun licence.

“The CAK supervisory board has dealt with the complaint and it recommended to its chairman that he file a disciplinary complaint about the lawyer in question due to the violation of the law on lawyer’s profession and lawyers’ ethical code,” Chaloupkova said.

The complaint was filed on September 11, she added.

A lawyer can be punished with a reprimand, a fine or the withdrawal from the list of lawyers as the most serious punishment.

The Prague Muslim community also distanced itself from Kushnarenko’s message. It said any statements by Kushnarenko were private and did not represent the views of the Muslims living in the Czech Republic.

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The appeal was also condemned by Interior Minister Jan Hamacek (Social Democrats, CSSD). The Centre of Muslim Communities then expelled Kushnarenko for misbehaviour.

pvr/dr/rtj

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