Czech Deputy Public Defender of Rights says Public Defender of Rights is publicly misrepresenting what she said to him
Czech Deputy Public Defender of Rights Monika Šimůnková is objecting to the latest allegations made by Czech Public Defender of Rights (ombudsman) Stanislav Křeček that he never dismissed her from representing the institution on various human rights advisory bodies to the Government - she says it is not true, as the ombudsman has recently alleged, that she herself resigned from those roles. "The truth, though, is that the ombudsman nominated me to those Councils in the spring of 2020 and now has revoked my credentials," Šimůnková said in a press release on the issue that news server Romea.cz is publishing below in full translation.
"He did that because, in an internal communication, I expressed my unequivocal disagreement with his official comments on the Romani Integration Strategy," the Deputy Public Defender of Rights said. "I never said that I could not represent him on those advisory bodies."
Monika Šimůnková: The press release by ombudsman Stanislav Křeček about the circumstances of my dismissal from three Government councils does not state the truth
Stanislav Křeček is alleging that he never removed me from any Councils (on the Romani minority, human rights, and equality of women and men) because it is he who is the institutional member on them. He also alleges that it was I who informed him that I could no longer represent him on those Councils. The truth, though, is that the ombudsman nominated me in the spring of 2020 to those Councils and now has revoked my credentials. He did that because, in an internal communication, I have expressed my unequivocal disagreement with his official comments on the Romani Integration Strategy. As a member of the Council, I and my colleagues commented on that document during the course of last year. During that entire time the ombudsman never contributed any of his own ideas. It was not until just before he submitted his comments as part of the interministerial procedure that he wrote two pages of a critique, the content of which is unacceptable to me, and subsequently publicized it.
These are the allegations that are untrue:
The ombudsman's press release of 20 January 2021 states: "The Public Defender of Rights is the member of those councils by virtue of their own statutes."
This allegation is not true with respect to the Czech Government Council for Romani Minority Affairs. According to its Statutes, a member of the Council shall be a representative of the Office of the Public Defender of Rights, not automatically the person of the ombudsman. It is I who was a member of that Council because Stanislav Křeček himself authorized me to be a member and the Prime Minister subsequently appointed me.
The press release further states the following: "The deputy to the ombudsman informed him in writing recently that their opinions differ and therefore she cannot represent him."
I never said I could not represent him on those councils. I consider the work on the advisory bodies to the Government to be exceptionally important because those bodies are dedicated to systemic subject matter that impacts all groups in the population and I want to continue doing that work. In the email dated 13 January 2021 in which I communicated my disagreement with his comments on the Romani Integration Strategy to the ombudsman, I wrote the following:
"At the same time, as the member authorized by you to attend this Government Council, and also as a person who has been involved with Romani issues for a certain amount of time, I must write to you that I distance myself emphatically from your standpoint and from your entire text, especially these first general comments (on the Strategy), and that I fundamentally disagree with them. Moreover, they were never discussed with me in advance, they were sent without my being aware of the definitive version of the text, and I decidedly do not intend to defend them in any way before the platform of the Council or Office of the Government, as I consider their content - some passages in particular - to be absolutely unacceptable and indefensible." The ombudsman responded by e-mail on 14 January 2021 that there had been no reason to consult me further and that it is absolutely useless for me to express my disagreement. He also said that he had considered all of the circumstances with regard to the long-lasting, constantly-arising conflicts in our mutual communications and that he had decided, in the interest of preserving the normal operations of the institution, to revoke my credentials to represent him on the Government Council for Romani Minority Affairs, Government Council for Human Rights, and Government Council for Equal Opportunities for Women and Men.
Just as happened in the spring of last year with respect to the issue of allowing fathers to be present during the delivery of children in hospitals, the ombudsman is seriously distorting and twisting the meaning of what I said in his interpretation of this entire matter. I have to say I perceive his behavior to be dishonorable and unfair.
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