Prague - Czech three major TV stations were penalized for displaying the boys who were abused in the infamous Kuřim case. The TV stations were fined CZK hundreds of thousands.
Czech Board for Radio and Television Broadcast imposed a fine of CZK 900,000 on private TV Prima, while private TV Nova received CZK 600,000 and public service Czech TV will have to pay CZK 200,000.
The Board argued that all three stations breached the privacy protection act which states that persons exposed to grave physical and/or mental suffering cannot appear in media without their consent, for it lowers their dignity.
The TV stations broadcasted the scenes revealing the alleged boys in prime time news bulletins and investigative programs or once in a debate program in January 2008.
A fine for such kind of law violation is set between CZK 5,000 - 2.5 million.
The Board set a slump fine of CZK 100,000 for each law violation in the Kuřim case. In other words, TV Prima has breached the law nine times, TV Nova six times and public service Czech TV twice.
Shots at court
Based on the decision of the Judge Pavel Göth, the Brno trial with the Kuřim case accused perpetrators has been open to public but the shots with the boys being tortured and abused were shown privately only to the judge. The Judge ordered the public out, as the scene are alleged to be too brutal and shocking.
The medialization of the tortured boys was criticized by the Czech Syndicate of Journalists too.
"Reporting by the tabloids as well as the media that proudly call themselves "quality" crossed the border of the journalistic ethics as well as common sense behavior," stated the Committee of Ethics at the Syndicate's website in June.
Among the critics of publishing pictures of casualties in media was also the Supreme Court. The Court has recently upheld a complaint filed by parents whose son died in a car accident. Czech tabloid Šíp published a picture of the man's dead body at its front page.
The Supreme Court alleged that media could be fined for showing dead bodies of accident casualties with CZK hundreds of thousands.