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June 30, 2022



Czech Gov't Human Rights Commissioner Monika Šimůnková resigns

Prague, 18.10.2013 0:10, (ROMEA)
Monika Šimůnková (PHOTO:
Monika Šimůnková (PHOTO:

Czech Government Human Rights Commissioner Monika Šimůnková has resigned. Her resignation is in response to the circumstances of her dismissal on Tuesday from her position as head of the Human Rights Section at the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic. 

Šimůnková believes the reasons given for her dismissal from that position were bogus. She claims she was dismissed from the post because the current cabinet is not assigning human rights the importance it deserves.

Šimůnková announced her resignation to outgoing Czech PM Jiří Rusnok in a letter that has been made available to the Czech News Agency. In the letter, she states she is resigning from her office as commissioner due to the circumstances under which she was dismissed from the post of director of the Human Rights Section and the justification given for that dismissal.

"From my experience to date with your government, I believe we do not share the same opinions regarding either the concept of human rights or the weight it should be given. I therefore understand my dismissal to be a result of this disagreement, not as a result of my alleged errors," Šimůnková has written to Rusnok.  

Šimůnková believes she would not be able to effectively serve the human rights agenda working solely from the position of Human Rights Commissioner because that position has been only vaguely anchored in the new organizational code of the Office of the Government. In her view, after separating the post of director of the Human Rights Section from the office of Human Rights Commissioner, the office has lost both its content and its powers.

"I have dedicated several years of intensive work to the area of human rights, and not only at the Office of the Government, and I do not want to participate in the office of the Human Rights Commissioner being once again further stripped of its content and basically destroyed," Šimůnková writes in the letter. She reportedly faced similar efforts during the previous government but managed to head them off.

Radek Augustin (SPOZ), the administrative head of the Office of the Government, removed Šimůnková from her post as head of the section. Rusnok said the reason was her poor work as a team member and her poor work ethic.

Šimůnková (born 1972) was appointed Human Rights Commissioner in February 2011. Prior to that she worked as a lawyer on the issue of child protection.

ČTK, Zdeněk Ryšavý, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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