New law to protect privacy of crime victims

Veronika Lehovcová Suchá Veronika Lehovcová Suchá
12. 2. 2008 17:15
Media won´t be able to publish private data of victims
The Minister of Justice Jiří Pospíšil wants the justice system to be more victim-friendly
The Minister of Justice Jiří Pospíšil wants the justice system to be more victim-friendly | Foto: Tomáš Adamec, Aktuálně.cz

Prague - The government has approved a new amendment as part of the legislation reform spearheaded by the Minister of Justice Jiří Pospíšil.

The amendment to the Criminal Code is supposed to protect the privacy of crime victims.

"In the case of juvenile victims, it won't be possible to publish their names and photos without the legal representatives giving their consent," said Minister Pospíšil.

The requirement of parents´ approval to expose their children is set by law mainly for cases of child abductions when media help to trace the victim down.

The ban of publishing private information will include adult victims of crime as well.

"We are talking about crimes against life and health, against human freedom and dignity," explained Minister Pospíšil. Rape, procuration, or bodily harm fall under the same category as well.

Victims of such crimes are in danger of a so-called secondary victimization. If exposed, the victim can suffer from attacks by people surrounding him or her, by his or her relatives or even by the culprit.

Regrettable events

There have been recently several highly-medialized criminal cases that brought up the issue of the crime victim protection, in particular in cases when the victim is underage. 

The most prominent was the so-called Kuřim case, named after the town of Kuřim in South Moravian Region where two young boys were badly abused by their relatives.

Czech media published the family´s names, photos and addresses. Even part of the police interrogation that provided detailed description of the maltreatment was made public.

There were other criminal cases concerning children in past few years.

If the amendment is approved by Parliament and signed by the president, such a thing will not stand a chance to happen again.

According to Pospíšil, the whole legislation reform provides a strict crime-victim protection.

"The amendment also bans placing an offender on probation until he or she has settled with the victim," added the Minister.

 

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Zdroj: ČTK
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