Ongoing diplomatic efforts to release Bohemia Interactive employees

23 Nov 2012  by   Peter Parrish
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It emerged yesterday that Greek President Karolos Papoulias has invited the Czech consul to a meeting regarding the ongoing imprisonment of Bohemia Interactive employees (and Czech citizens), Ivan Buchta and Martin Pezlar. This move appears to be a response to a letter, written to Papoulias by the Czech President Václav Klaus.

Buchta and Pezlar were arrested on the Greek island of Limnos on 9 September, and are still being held in custody. According to Greek newspaper reports at the time, the pair were arrested on the grounds of taking photographs of Limnos military installations.

Based on these initial reports it appeared Buchta and Pezlar were gathering reference material for the upcoming Arma 3 title, which is set in part on the island.

However, Bohemia Interactive have denied that suggestion, stating that “Their trip to Limnos was personal, organized via travel agent, with the single goal of experiencing the place that had inspired the virtual environments of Arma 3,” and not a work visit.

Defense lawyer Panayiotis Eleftheriou has revealed further details about the case, explaining that “The ‘incriminating’ piece of evidence is 14 stills, taken from a video clip recorded with a handheld camera. Amongst these images a depiction of the Limnos airport which is also used by the military. But it’s clear that the cameraman stops the recording once he noticed the signs informing that photography is prohibited.”

Strikes in the Greek legal system have delayed an appeals process.

A site has been set up to provide updates on the situation, and offer ways in which people sympathetic to Pezlar and Buchta’s cause can help. It is suggested that you write a letter to your EU representative, or (if you live in the area) to take part in a planned street protest in Prague on 26 November.

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