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Czech Republic media outlets are reporting that infamous U.S. white supremacist leader David Duke was arrested in Prague earlier today on suspicion of denying the Holocaust and promoting the neo-Nazi movement, crimes punishable by up to three years in prison in the Czech Republic.
According to a Prague newspaper, Duke was taken into custody at the Black Eagle, a Prague restaurant, shortly after arriving in the country at the invitation of Czech neo-Nazis. The newspaper reported that 30 law enforcement officers wearing ski masks surrounded Duke, who was scheduled to deliver lectures in Prague and Brno. A third lecture scheduled at Prague’s Charles University was called off earlier this week because the university banned it.
According to an Internet post by the Czech Republic neo-Nazi group National Resistance, Duke was in Czech Republic to promote his book My Awakening.
“Mr. Duke was arrested after previous approval [from the] state deputy for suspicion for committing the crime of supporting and promoting movements which are trying to suppress human rights and freedoms,” read a translated statement from Prague police spokesperson Jan Mikulovsky.
News of Duke’s reported arrest spread rapidly throughout the right-wing extremist online community. A “Free David Duke” discussion thread on Stormfront, a major white nationalist discussion forum, was fast-approaching 300 posts at 5 p.m. EST.
Discussion at Vanguard News Network was equally intense. “Though in the past I have disagreed with David Duke as being too moderate, I must say that this arrest is outrageous and must be protested, vigorously,” wrote EireanGoddess. “Damn the jews.”