Pehe: Gender focus in Czech Istanbul Convention debate aids Russia

Photo: Zuzana Jarolímková,

The Czech Senate rejected ratification of the Istanbul Convention in a hotly contested vote Wednesday night. The treaty, which Czechia formally signed in 2016, seeks to prevent, prosecute and eliminate domestic violence. So why have Czech politicians rejected it? I spoke to political scientist Jiří Pehe.

“I think part of the decision of the Senate is tied to what I would basically call disinformation.

“There have been a lot of attempts by people who defend the so-called traditional family, and traditional values, to depict the Istanbul Convention as something that could affect the standing of the family, traditional values and so on in the Czech Republic.

“Unfortunately it seems that a critical mass of senators decided to support this.

“They ignored the fact that the Istanbul Convention is already ratified in most Western European countries and that the Czech lawmakers will not find anything new there.

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Author: Ian Willoughby