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December 10, 2017 6:00 am | FILED UNDER: politics

Zeman and Okamura Redefine Free Speech as SPD Censors Conference Coverage

By ČTK

Prague, Dec 9 (CTK) – Some media outlets were barred access to the national conference of the Czech anti-European populist Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) today, as they were denied accreditation to it.

 

The SPD argued that there were doubts about their objective approach.

 

SPD leader Tomio Okamura criticised the work of Czech journalists in his speech to the delegates of the conference.

 

He was joined in this by President Milos Zeman, a guest to the conference.

 

Okamura mentioned the majority of the public media. In this connection, he unveiled a media law that is to exact the ethical code of the media.

 

He complained that the media had ignored the SPD for two years, which had affected its election result.

 

Okamura said if the SPD had been provided the same space as its rivals, its result would cross 20 percent.

 

In the October election to the Chamber of Deputies, the SPD finished fourth with 10.6 percent of the vote, which gave it 22 seats in the 200-member Chamber of Deputies.

 

“The freedom of speech is not the freedom to tell lies or manipulate facts,” Okamura said.

 

Zeman said the journalists had not noticed the bad election result of TOP 09, which only received 5.3 percent of the vote and only narrowly got into the Chamber of Deputies, for which 5 percent are needed.

 

“I hope this will change,” Zeman said.

 

Access to the conference centre in Prague was denied to the journalists from the server Aktualne.cz, Seznam Zpravy and Czech Television.

 

In all, some 30 journalists were accredited to the conference, while participation was not allowed to five to six media, Okamura said, adding that the SPD was not interested in the arrival of the journalists who “are interested in tarnishing or harming the SPD.”

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