NATO military base in Kapisa, Afghanistan (illustrative photo)

Man charged with promoting terrorism for approving of Czech soldiers’ deaths in online forum

The Prague High State Attorney has charged the man with approving of the soldiers' death in Afghanistan in 2018

Prague, Jan 6 (CTK) – The Prague High State Attorney’s Office (VSZ) has filed charges against a man who, in an online discussion, approved of the death of Czech soldiers in Afghanistan, state attorney Martin Bily wrote on the VSZ’s website today.

If convicted, the suspect faces five to 15 years in prison for supporting and promoting terrorism, Bily wrote.

His case will be handled by the Regional Court in Plzen, west Bohemia.

Bily said the accused man has also been charged with marring an official order because he disrespected the driving ban imposed on him.

In ongoing separate proceedings, another man has been prosecuted for having posted leaflets across Prague, which branded the three dead soldiers “mercenaries and invaders” and congratulated “Afghan patriots” on having killed them.

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Three Czech soldiers died in the Afghan mission in August 2018, killed by a suicide bomber while patrolling in the Bagram base surroundings. Martin Marcin, 36, Kamil Benes, 28, and Patrik Stepanek, 25, died on the spot.

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Czech President Milos Zeman later bestowed a medal of heroism on them in memoriam.

In October 2018, Czech military dog handler Tomas Prochazka, 41, died at the Shindand allied base, shot dead by an Afghan soldier. Prochazka, too, was posthumously awarded a Medal of Heroism, and the USA bestowed a Bronze Star for heroism in combat late on him last year.

The Czechs operate in Afghanistan within the NATO mission. A total of 14 Czech soldiers have died in it so far.

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