Insults. Attacks. Damage to property. Even though the Czech Republic’s crime index ranks in the bottom half of the pack in Europe, it can happen to anyone.
In criminal proceedings, Czechs and foreigners have the same rights. A new Guide for Foreign Victims of Crimes in the Czech Republic (download PDF) sums up how to defend yourself against illegal conduct.
The publication was put together by lawyers from the In Iustitia organization dedicated to helping victims of hate crimes. “Foreigners who don’t know the legal code often get discouraged from filing a criminal complaint,” said the head of the office Markéta Nešporová.
That is step number one: if someone hurts you, contact the police and file a criminal complaint.
Remember the European emergency number 112 that you can call for free, without a SIM card or signal, even when your keyboard is locked. The operators speak English and the police can always trace back information about the call.
If a criminal offence is involved, the prosecutor will submit an indictment and then there will be proceedings before the court. You can get free legal representation through the Pro Bono Centre. At court you also have the right to a free interpreter in your mother tongue or another language that you know.
The guide for crime victims is not something you are likely to have to use. Better safe than sorry, though!
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