Czech President Threatens Journalists With AK-47
The President of the Czech Republic, Milos Zeman, crudely insulted reporters by showing off a replica AK-47 with the inscription “for journalists” — less than a week after an investigative journalist in Malta was killed by a car bomb.
Zeman brandished the fake assault rifle during a press conference on Friday, as Czechs voted to elect populist billionaire Andrej Babis as prime minister. Zeman said on Saturday that he would name Babis as the country’s prime minister. Critics however are concerned that Babis’ media dominance — he owns two of the country’s leading newspapers and a radio station — will lead to conflicts of interest. In addition to Babis’ success, the far-right Freedom and Direct Democracyparty (SPD) made surprising gains in the election, potentially positioning them as the country’s political kingmakers.
Zeman’s stunt on Friday aren’t the first time he’s made incendiary remarks towards the press. He has previously referred to journalists as “manure” and “hyenas.” In May, he shared a joke with Vladimir Putin that some of the journalists at an event he was at needed to be “liquidated” — a controversy which caused uproar in the central European country. In 2016, Zeman also urged Czechs to arm themselves against a potential “Super Holocaust” which would apparently be carried out by Muslims.