(en)Police still pursue five squatters from the house in Zenklova

Fri, 24 Oct 1997 06:42:12

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News - Police still pursue five squatters from the house in Zenklova street

PRAGUE (Free Society - PIA ) - Squatters arrested during the eviction of a squat in Zenklova street in Prague are still being prosecuted for committing the crime of unjustifiably interfering into the right to house or flat (article against squatting). Of the original seven prosecuted, the prosecution of one has been stopped, and another faces indictment, with the possibility of two years imprisonment. The prosecuted squatters and a police source confirmed it to PIA. This is one of the first cases where the state has actually prosecuted squatters on the basis of the already mentioned article. Bohdana Rytirova, from the Zenklova squat, and David Lorenc, who worked on the campaign for Ladronka, had this to say to PIA: "We do not agree with this. Apart from the legal basis, a criminal action has to have signs of social danger, and our actions are certainly not directed to endanger the society. The society faces much bigger danger from the side of the state, which protects the interests of speculators while people, who have nowhere to live, are put in jail." The squatting of the Zenklova street house began in mid August 1997, with police commencing eviction on September 3, at 21:00. As a form of protest, ten young people climbed on to the roof of the house. During the night, three of the protestors climbed down after an agreement with the police and the fire brigade was reached. Police took them immediately to the police station. The rest of the people managed to escape via neighboring roofs and yards, escaping police notice. Police took the fingerprints and photos of all arrested, and added their identities to police files. During the police action, squatters received active help from the comrades of Ladronka, as well as inhabitants of the neighboring houses, gypsies especially. The police, in their turn, received help from a nazi skinhead who tried to provoke a conflict with the sympathizers of the squatters. According to one witness, a coworker of PIA, the skinhead was seen talking to police officers before entering the house with an iron bar. He smashed furniture and other equipment in the house, and even climbed on to the roof where the squatters, at that point trying to climb into the neighboring house through the roof, had been sitting. Police claimed not to have seen any of that happening, and so did not take any action against the skinhead. The article about squatting came into effect in the year 1993, even though it was criticized by a number of lawyers that it unnecessarily doubles already valid law in the civil rights declaration. According to the deputies, this amendment should have been protecting people renting places against the property owners who were, for example, concreting the house entrances, and turning off the supplies of water or electricity. But the article, in its present form, can be, and is, used against squatters as well. -ank- , 24. October 1997 ------------------------ PIA is going to bring information especially on activities of Czech radical movements which see one of the reasons of the current situation of the society in existence of state authoritarian capitalistic system. We want to inform people abroad about actions of Czech anti-authoritarian, anarchist and autonomous groups and organizations and about the most blatant cases of human rights violations by the authorities.

* We are going to offer information service; when keeping the basic rules of journalism. News taken from other media will be explicitly marked with sign Monitor. * We want to make the political activities international, for many of them are impossible without effective support from abroad. Informing exactly on what is happening, informing in time is the first step towards international cooperation.We will appreciate if you use our information and we ask you as well to inform the Czech public on similar activities in your country via our agency. Your reports will be publicized in magazines which cooperate with PIA. Against Authorities....For A Free Society! http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Lobby/6580 e-mail: anfocz@usa.net mail: F.S., P.O.BOX 176, 110 01 Prague 01, Czech Republic

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