Information on possible criminal law limits to freedom of expression in relation to the situation in Ukraine
26. 2. 2022
Brno, 26 February 2022 - The Supreme State Prosecutor's Office deems it necessary to inform citizens that the current situation related to the Russian Federation's attack on Ukraine may also have implications for their freedom of expression.
Freedom of expression is constitutionally enshrined in Article 17 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms. Everyone has the right to express his or her views in the manner he or she deems appropriate. But even freedom of expression has its limits in a democratic state governed by the rule of law.
If someone publicly (including at demonstrations, in the space of the Internet or social networks) expresses approval of (accepts or supports) the Russian Federation's attacks on Ukraine or, in this context, expresses support for or praises the leaders of the Russian Federation, he or she could, under certain conditions, also face criminal liability for the crime of endorsing a crime under Section 365 of the Criminal Code, or for the crime of denying, questioning, endorsing or justifying genocide under Section 405 of the Criminal Code.
The Supreme State Prosecutor's Office appeals to all persons not to resort to public speeches in these difficult times that would exceed the established constitutional and legal restrictions.
JUDr. Igor Stříž
Supreme State Prosecutor