Czech government mulls penalising ‘from the river to the sea’ slogan

Saying the words “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free” may be considered a criminal offence in certain circumstances, Czech authorities informed.

The Czech Interior Ministry, police officers, prosecutors and the Prague city representatives discussed measures to fight antisemitism during public gatherings at a meeting.

“The conclusion of the discussion is that the use of the slogan From the River to the Sea Palestine will be free is problematic in the context of the Hamas attack against Israel on 7 October 2023 and could fulfil the elements of a criminal offence,” Czech Interior Ministry spokeswoman Klára Dlubalová informed.

According to the ministry, anyone using such a slogan could potentially be guilty of supporting and promoting terrorism, inciting hatred against a group of people, or denying, questioning, condoning or justifying genocide.

“The link to the Hamas movement and other organisations calling for the destruction of the State of Israel is unambiguous, according to the Interior Ministry, and the slogan has historically been used by the majority in conjunction with a clearly stated demand for the destruction of the existence of the State of Israel and the elimination of part of the population by any means, including violent means,” the interior ministry explained.

Czech police will inform organisers of demonstrations in advance of the apparent problematic nature of the slogan.


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