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Czech Deputy Public Defender of Rights has decided to resign by the end of August

18.8.2022 5:44
Monika Šimůnková, Deputy Public Defender of Rights (left) and Public Defender of Rights Stanislav Křeček (2020). (PHOTO: official Facebook page of the Public Defender of Rights)
Monika Šimůnková, Deputy Public Defender of Rights (left) and Public Defender of Rights Stanislav Křeček (2020). (PHOTO: official Facebook page of the Public Defender of Rights)

The Czech Deputy Public Defender of Rights, Monika Šimůnková, has decided to resign by the end of this month. She disagrees with the approach being taken by Public Defender of Rights Stanislav Křeček, both as a person and as a professional, she disagrees with his opinions, and she no longer wants to represent or work with him.  

Šimůnková informed the Czech News Agency of her decision yesterday and sent news server Romea.cz her letter of resignation. She was elected to the post in November 2019 and Křeček was elected to his post in February 2020.

The terms of office for these positions are six years long. "I am unable and no longer want to continue to represent ombudsman Stanislav Křeček or to work with him in any way. as I fundamentally disagree with his opinions and his approach, both as a person and as a professional," the resignation letter says.

"Shortly after the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic passed a resolution criticizing Mr. Křeček, he took away the agenda that I had been conscientiously, intensively devoting my work to in accordance with my oath while in office, and he did so by using false, fabricated allegations which I reject; I am considering the legal steps that are necessary to defending my reputation, and I am now no longer able to continue, as all my predecessors have, to benefit the people who need our aid," the letter says. "Mr. Křeček told me he will not return this agenda to me, he has forbidden me from attending internal meetings, and he has told me that his notion of our future cooperation is to assign me ad hoc tasks."

Křeček has claimed to the Czech News Agency that he was counting on continuing to collaborate with Šimůnková and that he regrets that her "emotions have gotten the better of her" when she made this decision. The two office holders have long held different opinions on key issues.

In the past the two have clashed over Křeček's remarks about Romani people, over the issue of whether fathers should be allowed to be physically present during the delivery of their children during the pandemic, and over children's rights issues. Křeček attempted to remove Šimůnková from advisory bodies to the Government to which she had been appointed to represent the Office of the Public Defender of Rights.

As of July he then removed the entire agenda assigned to her. After so doing, Křeček justified his decision by alleging Šimůnková had delayed the handling of cases.

Šimůnková rejected that allegation. Many organizations have stood up for her.

The situation at the Office of the Public Defender of Rights was reviewed by the Petition Committee of the lower house in mid-July, which met three times on the issue. Ultimately, however, they declined to "take sides" in the dispute.

ČTK, Zdeněk Ryšavý, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Monika Šimůnková, Ombudsman, Stanislav Křeček, útok



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