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May 26, 2022



Anna Šabatová's term as Czech Public Defender of Rights ends: "I did what was within my power to do"

19.2.2020 7:25
Anna Šabatová, Public Defender of Rights, Czech Republic (2018). (PHOTO: ROMEA TV)
Anna Šabatová, Public Defender of Rights, Czech Republic (2018). (PHOTO: ROMEA TV)

Yesterday the outgoing Public Defender of Rights, Anna Šabatová, received dozens of bouquets of flowers as a farewell gesture from both current and former employees of her office on the final day of her term. Speaking with the Czech News Agency, Šabatová said she had done what was within her power to do while in office.

Yesterday, as she cleared out her office, boxes full of things had to be placed on the floor to make room on the desk for the many vases full of flowers. "I'm gradually saying goodbye to everybody here," the 68-year-old said.

"I think I can end my time here knowing that I did what was within my power to do. One cannot do more," she said.

She will miss her colleagues above all. "What's most important to me is that I always wanted people to see that I care about this," she said.

"This is not just a job to be done, I actually care about the people who contact us and for whom we work. For me that meant having a very close relationship of dialogue with my colleagues, it's not the case that the ombudsman somehow makes a declaration and then that's how things will be," she said.

"The opinion [of the office] is formed through dialogue," Šabatová explained. Some former colleagues who currently work in other institutions also came to say goodbye to her during the day.

Šabatová said she is leaving a very well-functioning office behind her. She also expressed appreciation for the humane approach that the office takes.

"The human perspective, that we are working here for our fellow human beings, was the main guiding principle we consciously built here," she said. Last week the Czech Chamber of Deputies chose Stanislav Křeček to become her successor.

The 81-year-old will take his oath of office in the Chamber of Deputies today, the procedure through which the selection of the office holder is closed and the new ombudsman is empowered to take up the management of the institution. Křeček will probably take up his post in Brno tomorrow.

ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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