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MfD: Czech journalist feels harassed by police (PragueMonitor.com)

2010-01-26, 12:18:00 • English
MfD: Czech journalist feels harassed by police
(CTK, 26 January 2010)

Prague, Jan 25 (CTK) – The Czech police inspection has swept under the carpet the complaint about the circumstances under which journalist Pavel Eichler, a reporter of iDnes.cz, was detained last year, daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) writes Monday.
While detained, Eichler was denied the right to contact his lawyer, the editorial staff or his family, MfD writes.

The police made no mistake and the case was shelved, the inspection said.

Lawyers say the police inspection routinely cover the police in this way, MfD writes.

Eichler ended up in a prison cell after he worked on a report on the occupation of a house in Prague by squatters and the subsequent police action, MfD writes.

When he was leaving the house, the police detained him in the dead of night, it adds.

He ended up in the prison cell for doing his work, MfD writes.

"The report by the police inspection is incredible. The investigation was wrong and its conclusions erroneous, " lawyer Jaroslav Ortman, who represents the paper in the dispute, is quoted as having said.

Eichler was first moved from one prison cell to another for six hours and then spent 12 hours in a preliminary detention cell.

The police inspection report claims that he did not want to speak with or to send a message to anyone, including his relatives.

The paper's staff reportedly took no interest in his fate either, MfD writes.

The team of iDnes.cz knew from witnesses and television recordings that Eichler had been detained and the staff was taking all steps to find out his whereabouts during the whole day, it adds.

"How can you be so sure that it was so," Interior Minister Martin Pecina replied to the question of whether the inspection report was in order.

"There is the word of the detainee against the words of a number of police. If someone is in a preliminary detention cell and says he does not want anything, should the police force him to phone?" he added.

"I asked for a lawyer at least five times," Eichler said.

"One police reacted to my request by taking on his gloves and saying: 'Do you want a lawyer? You will be thrashed," he added.

"The situation is an absolute black hole in which a person totally disappears," Ortman said.

Michal Hanak, iDnes.cz chief editor, said the paper would file another complaint and pass the case to the state attorney's office.

source: ..:. praguemonitor.com :.

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