Moscow criticizes Czechia's human rights record, Prague tells Russia to 'get out of Ukraine'

Russia accused Czechia on social media of shortcomings in the human rights and free speech areas.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 26.07.2023 10:30:00 (updated on 26.07.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

The Russian Foreign Ministry has taken a swipe at Czechia, accusing its authorities of neglecting chronic problems and engaging in what it perceives as destructive foreign policy actions, according to a report on human rights in Czechia the Russian Foreign Ministry posted on the Telegram social network.

The Russian Foreign Ministry report said that Prague has been sliding toward a Russophobic course in recent years “that often takes aggressive forms of ‘war’ with monuments to Soviet soldiers.” This was likely a reference to the removal of a statue in Prague 6 of Soviet Marshal Ivan Konev and the subsequent renaming of a street that had honored him. The report also accused Czechia of whitewashing the role of Nazi accomplices in World War II.

The report went on the say that international human rights bodies have noted the prevalence of racist ideas and prejudices in Czechia, racially motivated crimes, and attacks against Muslims, Roma, Jews, and migrants.

The Russian report also raised concerns over freedom of speech, the functioning of the mass media, equal rights for women, domestic violence, and other issues. The Czech judiciary also faced criticism in the Russian report, with allegations of political interference in significant cases.

Czech Foreign Ministry responds

In a direct response to the Russian criticism, the Czech Foreign Ministry tweeted: “Chronic problems of Czechia: we don’t kidnap children, bomb hospitals, and occupy neighbours. Get out of Ukraine.”

The kidnapping accusations gained international attention on March 17, 2023, when the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin for the unlawful deportation and transfer of children during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. A CNN report from February said that one in 10 hospitals in Ukraine has been damaged since the invasion began.

The Russian report was published on social networks on the same day that the Russian Prosecutor General's Office labeled the Russian independent TV station Dozhd (Rain) as "undesirable." The station was already banned from broadcasting in Russia but is actively posting videos on its YouTube channel. Dozhd is now urging people in Russia not to share its links or donate money, as these actions could have repercussions.  

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