Copyright © 2024 Euromaidanpress.com

The work of Euromaidan Press is supported by the International Renaissance Foundation

When referencing our materials, please include an active hyperlink to the Euromaidan Press material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. To reprint anything longer, written permission must be acquired from [email protected].

Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Czech Constitutional Court rules in favour of hotel ban on Russian citizens approving Crimean landgrab

Tomáš Krčmář, owner of Brioni Boutique Hotel in the Czech city of Ostrava.
Czech Constitutional Court rules in favour of hotel ban on Russian citizens approving Crimean landgrab
Article by: Yevhen Perebyinis
Translated by: Christine Chraibi
The Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic recently announced an extremely symbolic and significant decision that directly concerns Ukraine.

Tomáš Krčmář, owner of Brioni Boutique Hotel, works and lives in the Czech city of Ostrava. Five years ago, he decided to bar Russian citizens from his establishment as an act of protest against Moscow’s invasion and occupation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and out of frustration at what he considers the EU’s and the Czech Republic’s weak response to the move. On March 24, 2014, he posted an announcement stating Russian citizens would not be allowed to stay in his hotel. A few days later, however, he changed the text: Russian citizens would be accommodated only if they wrote a short memo condemning the occupation of Crimea.

As of March 24, 2014, we refuse accommodation to citizens of the Russian Federation because of the annexation of Crimea. Our apologies to all decent citizens of the Russian Federation. Your Brioni Boutique hotel.

The Czech Trade Inspection then declared that such an approach was discriminatory and fined Tomáš Krčmář 50,000 crowns (approximately 2,000 euros). Many of his countrymen offered to pay this fine, but Tomáš decided that it was a matter of principle and that he must fight it out to the end. In his opinion, he had done nothing wrong:

“As long as Russia stops in Crimea, the EU is ready to sweep the whole thing under the rug and continue in a business-as-usual manner, so as to get rid of an uncomfortable headache.

If our memory is too short to learn lessons from what happened in 1939, then at least let’s try recalling 1968 or Georgia in 2008… I considered it my civic duty. If I had an army, I would’ve proclaimed a state of emergency, but I don’t, so I do what I can.”

The court reduced Tomáš’s fine to 5,000 crowns, but this did not suit him. He pointed out that even if he had to pay one crown, he would not agree with such a decision. After filing several complaints to various judicial instances, Tomáš brought the case before the Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic.

“Putin has done the same thing that Hitler did in Sudetenland… We must remind people, who haven’t been taught history properly, what may happen if you fail to pay attention to certain things. The Russians have been here before. I don’t want to see them here again… ever again, neither for myself nor for my children.”

On April 30, 2019, the Constitutional Court ruled that there was no act of discrimination in this case. The judges rejected the Supreme Administrative Court’s decision that it was an issue related to national intolerance, and, on the contrary, recognized the hotel owner’s rational behaviour.

Referring to the unequivocal position taken by international organizations, as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, the Constitutional Court stated that Russia’s annexation of Crimea contravened the fundamental principles of international law. The Czech Constitutional Court underlined that the country’s public authorities also have a different approach to a person’s citizenship, which is a fundamentally different concept from a person’s nationality.

If any client had been refused entry into the hotel due to his ethnic origin or religion, the court would have considered it an act of discrimination, but not from the perspective of citizenship. The case will now return to the Supreme Administrative Court, which should review its previous decision, taking into account the verdict pronounced by the Constitutional Court.

Based on a ruling of an EU-member Constitutional Court, this case constitutes an extremely important precedent, as not only does it justify Tomáš Krčmář’s actions and defense of Ukraine, but it also confirms the illegality of Russia’s occupation of Crimea, a territory of Ukraine.

Translated by: Christine Chraibi
You could close this page. Or you could join our community and help us produce more materials like this.  We keep our reporting open and accessible to everyone because we believe in the power of free information. This is why our small, cost-effective team depends on the support of readers like you to bring deliver timely news, quality analysis, and on-the-ground reports about Russia's war against Ukraine and Ukraine's struggle to build a democratic society. A little bit goes a long way: for as little as the cost of one cup of coffee a month, you can help build bridges between Ukraine and the rest of the world, plus become a co-creator and vote for topics we should cover next. Become a patron or see other ways to support. Become a Patron!

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here

You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter

Please leave your suggestions or corrections here


    Will the West continue to support Ukraine?
    • Know what moves the world.
    • Stay informed with Kompreno.
    • Get quality journalism from across Europe.
    Special discount
    for Euromaidan Press readers
    Euromaidan Press

    We are an independent media outlet that relies solely on advertising revenue to sustain itself. We do not endorse or promote any products or services for financial gain. Therefore, we kindly ask for your support by disabling your ad blocker. Your assistance helps us continue providing quality content. Thank you!

    Related Posts