Czech President Issues Appeal For Arma 3 Devs

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Czech President Issues Appeal For Arma 3 Devs

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Czech Republic President Václav Klaus has asked the President of Greece to pay "special attention" to the case of two Arma 3 developers who are facing charges of espionage.

Ivan Buchta and Martin Pezlar of Arma 3 studio Bohemia Interactive were arrested in September and charged with espionage for taking photographs and video of military installations on the Greek island of Lemnos. They described the situation as an "absurd misunderstanding" in a message released about a week after their arrest but they've remained in custody ever since, and sounded significantly more concerned about the seriousness of their plight after a Greek court denied them bail last week.

The situation has grown dire enough that the President of the Czech Republic has issued a direct appeal to Greek President Karolos Papoulias. "I would like to address a matter of two Czech citizens who were arrested in Greece and charged with espionage," he wrote. "This case is very sensitive to the Czech public and also to me as President of the Republic. The fate of our citizens anywhere in the world matters to us."

"I have no doubt that the democratic Greek authorities - police, prosecutors and the courts - will consider this unfortunate matter impartially and independently. Even I do not in any way want to interfere with their work. I want to ask you, Mr. President, to follow this unfortunate affair with special attention considering the excellent relations between our nations so this does not throw unnecessary shade onto our relationship," he continued. "Once again, I want to assure you that I have the utmost certainty that our accused citizens will be given all the rights in the search for justice by the Greek authorities."

I'm no expert at diplomacy-speak, but I think there's a good likelihood that Klaus is actually far from certain that his guys will get a fair shake, which is what led him to intervene. It's a government's job to get involved when its citizens become embroiled in ugly messes in far-away lands, but it's a task typically left to the functionaries of the diplomatic corps. The direct involvement of the President may mean that wheels will finally begin to turn, but it could also suggest that Buchta and Pezlar's situation is far more dire than anyone suspected.

Source: Eurogamer

(photo)

Permalink

Oh yeah the Czech Republic IS an actual country isn't it?

OT: Somebody better get Bill Clinton on the line

Well perhaps the Czech government should take action about its citizens going foreign countries, photographing military installations while selling military training. http://products.bisimulations.com/training

They are already not getting a fair shake. The authorities are just being ridiculous. I know someone who took pictures he wasn't supposed to in China, and a man from the military simply went through his camera and told him what ones to delete (three of them in total). I would say that if China is being more diplomatic, Greece is just being hard headed. Also, we all know that the Military facility on Lemnos is regarded by the government as "strategically important", but even if they were invaded they wouldn't have the budget or man power to turn away invaders. They should just drop the pretense, go through their pictures and delete the ones that they shouldn't have and send them on their merry way. At worst they should bar them from entering their country again. But Espionage charges are not legitimate at this point.

I could understand this sort of kerfluffle happening if, say, Americans blundered into Iran or North Korea. But Greece? Arresting Czech tourists for espionage? World's gone topsy-turvy these days.

DVS BSTrD:
Oh yeah the Czech Republic IS an actual country isn't it?

OT: Somebody better get Bill Clinton on the line

Pretty much this. If anyone could help negotiate their release it would be Clinton.

The Rogue Wolf:
I could understand this sort of kerfluffle happening if, say, Americans blundered into Iran or North Korea. But Greece? Arresting Czech tourists for espionage? World's gone topsy-turvy these days.

Isn't like 70% of Greece's business income from tourism anyways? Geez. You'd think they'd be more chillax about them.

If the Czech president is getting involved I hope this gets resolved soon. Get those guys out of there already.

albino boo:
Well perhaps the Czech government should take action about its citizens going foreign countries, photographing military installations while selling military training. http://products.bisimulations.com/training

Where is the evidence that this is going to training and not as inspiration to some arma III game?

Oh wait, there is none. Because this information can be found online, military secrets broadcasted to the world AND GREECE DOESN'T GIVE A FUCK.

Because Greece is a big fat joke right now. No one is going to try to invade an EU member. Ever.

To think otherwise is like thinking Russia will take over America and Europe at the same time... in 2012.

Pictures of bases? So what? Espionage is MUCH MORE COMPLEX THAN THAT. If its on google, you don't need a fucking spy for it since its not important.

Baresark:
They are already not getting a fair shake. The authorities are just being ridiculous. I know someone who took pictures he wasn't supposed to in China, and a man from the military simply went through his camera and told him what ones to delete (three of them in total). I would say that if China is being more diplomatic, Greece is just being hard headed. Also, we all know that the Military facility on Lemnos is regarded by the government as "strategically important", but even if they were invaded they wouldn't have the budget or man power to turn away invaders. They should just drop the pretense, go through their pictures and delete the ones that they shouldn't have and send them on their merry way. At worst they should bar them from entering their country again. But Espionage charges are not legitimate at this point.

I've taken sensitive pictures I wasn't supposed to take and all I got was a verbal rollicking from the gate guard. Even got to keep the pictures and used them in my university presentation: "This is where we got accosted by an armed soldier and shouted at for ten minutes"
Certainly livened up the presentation!

On topic, it's about damn time, how long has this been going on? Also I never knew the Czech president was Stan Lee:

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"When I've finished writing the Spiderman comic, I just change my glasses, rub flour in my hair, and go run an Eastern European country. It's amazing how different you look when you don't smile."

Ultratwinkie:

albino boo:
Well perhaps the Czech government should take action about its citizens going foreign countries, photographing military installations while selling military training. http://products.bisimulations.com/training

Where is the evidence that this is going to training and not as inspiration to some arma III game?

Oh wait, there is none. Because this information can be found online, military secrets broadcasted to the world AND GREECE DOESN'T GIVE A FUCK.

Because Greece is a big fat joke right now. No one is going to try to invade an EU member. Ever.

To think otherwise is like thinking Russia will take over America and Europe at the same time... in 2012.

Pictures of bases? So what? Espionage is MUCH MORE COMPLEX THAN THAT. If its on google, you don't need a fucking spy for it since its not important.

Something I have repeatedly heard on the BIS forums and something to possible add is that the military installations were not the target of the footage. The photos were taken in a public area and that the initial charge against them was that they had ignored warnings and wandered into a military base (which at most is a couple of visible hangars) which as far as the scant information I can gleam was a total lie just to justify an arrest.

Here's some perspective to why I feel a bit ill reading this:

Imagine you're an American. Imagine your sister was on vacation in, say, Australia, and taking pictures for the magazine she works for while she's there.

Now, imagine you're told that she ignored warnings and trespassed on government property and is now in jail.

Now, imagine Barrack freaking Obama calls the Prime Minister of Australia and issues a pointed request that your sister get a fair trial (taps spot under eye).

This looks baaaaaaad. REEEEAL baaaaaaad.

albino boo:
Well perhaps the Czech government should take action about its citizens going foreign countries, photographing military installations while selling military training. http://products.bisimulations.com/training

That's as valid as saying "Well, clearly he WAS going to rob the bank, because he looked angry and works at a gun shop".

Actual EVIDENCE of this, please? You don't think they KNEW they'd be in all of the shit if they sold Greek intel to someone else? And speaking of, who's the someone else? Who in their right mind would even THINK of invading an EU member?

Finding a nifty correlation means jack until you have something concrete.

Andy Chalk:
Czech President Issues Appeal For Arma 3 Devs

".... I want to ask you, Mr. President, to follow this unfortunate affair with special attention considering the excellent relations between our nations so this does not throw unnecessary shade onto our relationship..."

You know, Gandhi said something eerily similar to me in civilization just before kicking my ass.

-Dragmire-:

Andy Chalk:
Czech President Issues Appeal For Arma 3 Devs

".... I want to ask you, Mr. President, to follow this unfortunate affair with special attention considering the excellent relations between our nations so this does not throw unnecessary shade onto our relationship..."

You know, Gandhi said something eerily similar to me in civilization just before kicking my ass.

Your vacant gaze most likely disturbed him.

If only the Canadian government stood up for it's citizens more often when they get into trouble in other countries. It's one of our nations greatest failings of the current century.

I hope this can get resolved soon. Prehaps get the Euro Court involved in observing. They're actually a pretty fair bunch, they'll see to it no shananagins go on.
I hope these guys get out. Or at the least, receive fair trial and a leniant sentance.

In other news, the storyline of Arma III has been changed to depict a near-future conflict on Lemnos, sparked by a breaking down of relations between Greece and the Czech Republic. At it's heart the game features a full scale assault on the local prison to break out Ivan Buchta and Martin Pezlar, using everything the Czechs can throw at the island.

Squilookle:
In other news, the storyline of Arma III has been changed to depict a near-future conflict on Lemnos, sparked by a breaking down of relations between Greece and the Czech Republic. At it's heart the game features a full scale assault on the local prison to break out Ivan Buchta and Martin Pezlar, using everything the Czechs can throw at the island.

Considering they made a Czech dlc in arma II not long ago, it'd be an easy update as the units are done XD

albino boo:
Well perhaps the Czech government should take action about its citizens going foreign countries, photographing military installations while selling military training. http://products.bisimulations.com/training

wow you are still whimpering on about that huh? when you can just use google maps to get every detail you would need that would be provided by the same few seconds of video film.

albino boo:
Well perhaps the Czech government should take action about its citizens going foreign countries, photographing military installations while selling military training. http://products.bisimulations.com/training

Do you have some program set to notify you whenever a thread about this happens so you can pop in and repeat the same thing despite having been told why it makes no sense by several people each time?

OT: good, maybe with some political pressure this nonsense can be resolved more quickly.

Arma 3 is not a defense. They work for a company that is known to sell military intelligence. The United States has the same law against photography of sensitive military installations(even from public areas).

-Dragmire-:

Andy Chalk:
Czech President Issues Appeal For Arma 3 Devs

".... I want to ask you, Mr. President, to follow this unfortunate affair with special attention considering the excellent relations between our nations so this does not throw unnecessary shade onto our relationship..."

You know, Gandhi said something eerily similar to me in civilization just before kicking my ass.

Yeah reading his statement it's like the exact sort of thing a leader in a strategy game says before going to war if you don't obey his demands.

major_chaos:

albino boo:
Well perhaps the Czech government should take action about its citizens going foreign countries, photographing military installations while selling military training. http://products.bisimulations.com/training

Do you have some program set to notify you whenever a thread about this happens so you can pop in and repeat the same thing despite having been told why it makes no sense by several people each time?

OT: good, maybe with some political pressure this nonsense can be resolved more quickly.

I think he just likes the notifications at this point.

OT: If that isn't a thinly veiled threat, I dunno what is.

a history of the case..

when the local government on lemnos discovered that ARMA3 was going to be set on the island they demanded bohemia interactive stop production or shift the location to another place as they did not want their island portrayed as a war zone.

BI refuses and continues to work on the game

a couple of the developers working on the game decide to take a holiday to lemnos, according to BI it was because they had fell in love with the place during development.

greek authorities arrest the pair saying they had trespassed on a military installation and were taking photos and video footage of the installation.

initial claim was dropped and a generic "taking photos and video of a classified military installation" was put forward.

the two apparently were taking holiday snas and footage of the airport on the drive to the place on the public road and a military hanger was in the background

....

something that hundreds of tourists have probably done seems like this is more of a witch hunt by the greek authorities than anything else. ive looked myself. you dont exactly need to go to lemnos to get great footage of the military sites thanks to google earth

Bohemia interactive do NOT provide military intelligence, they do sell training tools by the name of VBS2. (virtual battle systems) which is a more detailed version of ARMA2

VBS2 cotains the following :
http://resources.bisimulations.com/content/

list of agencies that use VBS:

Australian Defence Force
Canadian Forces
Finnish Defence Forces
NATO members
New Zealand Defence Force
Royal Netherlands Army, Maneuver Instruction and Training Center/Ground Maneuver School at Amersfoort (OTCMAN)
Parallel & Distributed Computing Center, Nanyang Technological University
Singapore Armed Forces
United Kingdom Ministry of Defence
United States Army
United States Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School
United States Marine Corps
United States Secret Service
United States Military Academy, West Point

".... I want to ask you, Mr. President, to follow this unfortunate affair with special attention considering the excellent relations between our nations so this does not throw unnecessary shade onto our relationship..."

Is that... Does that sound like? Is he threatening him? Or blackmail or whatever you want to call it. Because it sounds like it to me.

Also, isn't this a job for the Czech embassy?

So decyphering diplomatics:
"Make sure our guys are ok or our international relationships are going to sink"

P.S. capcha: Gold medal
well thank you

wombat_of_war:

VBS2 cotains the following :
http://resources.bisimulations.com/content/

First two choices:
AF Civilian Men
AF Civilian Men (Angry)
both look EXACTLY THE SAME.
funny funny

I really hope this works out for the two. Hopefully actual justice will prevail and they will be allowed to return home.

I really hope this helps the situation for the two fellows. Greece is obviously a pit when it comes to competent governments.

CardinalPiggles:

".... I want to ask you, Mr. President, to follow this unfortunate affair with special attention considering the excellent relations between our nations so this does not throw unnecessary shade onto our relationship..."

Is that... Does that sound like? Is he threatening him? Or blackmail or whatever you want to call it. Because it sounds like it to me.

Also, isn't this a job for the Czech embassy?

Next week the airport in question is leveled by a Czech bombing run. "There, now they dont have pictures of any classified instillation."

Their intentions are irrelevant, they willingly broke the law and shouldn't be given any special treatment for it. It doesn't matter if they were planning on only using the photos for game development or if they were planning on using them for something more sinister. They intentionally trespassed on an area they knew they weren't allowed to go to, they deliberately broke the law. They were given a warning and chose to say "fuck you" to it and ignore it, now they pay the price.

FelixG:

CardinalPiggles:

".... I want to ask you, Mr. President, to follow this unfortunate affair with special attention considering the excellent relations between our nations so this does not throw unnecessary shade onto our relationship..."

Is that... Does that sound like? Is he threatening him? Or blackmail or whatever you want to call it. Because it sounds like it to me.

Also, isn't this a job for the Czech embassy?

Next week the airport in question is leveled by a Czech bombing run. "There, now they dont have pictures of any classified instillation."

Heh, well I meant he might have been threatening to make trade relations more difficult or something like that. Given Greece's economic troubles that would hurt them a fair bit.

albino boo:
Well perhaps the Czech government should take action about its citizens going foreign countries, photographing military installations while selling military training. http://products.bisimulations.com/training

Baldr:
Arma 3 is not a defense. They work for a company that is known to sell military intelligence. The United States has the same law against photography of sensitive military installations(even from public areas).

When you can't distinguish between tools (here, simulations like ArmA and VBS) and intelligence, I suggest you keep out of conversations like this.

Baldr:
Arma 3 is not a defense. They work for a company that is known to sell military intelligence. The United States has the same law against photography of sensitive military installations(even from public areas).

But in the US, the punishment is a $500 fine or 1 year in prison, and has no prohibited structures within view of the public. The only exceptions would be photography that's forbidden within federal property (as in, indoors), not forbidden from the street like in this case. I think that's a pretty huge distinction.

Edit: And still, fucking espionage?

I totally support the Czech position in that. This bullshit trial should've ended long ago. Those two developers are political prisoners, and Greece has disgraced itself by not ending the corruption on Lemnos which has lead to two innocent men being imprisoned in order to censor a computer game.

Not only that, I think there should be EU sanctions against Greece. We place sanctions against other countries who take political prisoners too.

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