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Czech nonprofits call on Public Defender of Rights to reassign the agendas previously managed by the Deputy Public Defender of Rights back to her as soon as possible

12.7.2022 18:04
Czech Public Defender of Rights Stanislav Křeček on 24 June 2022 in the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic. (PHOTO:  Senát PČR)
Czech Public Defender of Rights Stanislav Křeček on 24 June 2022 in the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic. (PHOTO: Senát PČR)

More individuals and nonprofit organizations have expressed their disagreement with the approach that has been taken by Czech Public Defender of Rights (ombudsman) Stanislav Křeček in withdrawing all of the agendas he had previously assigned to the Deputy Public Defender of Rights, Monika Šimůnková, as of 1 July. The ombudsman publicly justified the unprecedented move by alleging "complications" of a managerial and personal nature have accompanied her work.

Šimůnková is scheduled to attend the Chamber of Deputies' Committee on Petitions tomorrow, which is reviewing the situation at the Office of the Ombudsman; Křeček attended a meeting of the committee last week to discuss the matter. A total of 25 organizations and almost 20 individuals have joined a statement in support of Šimůnková. 

Organizations such as In IUSTITIA, the OSF Foundation, Life Together (Vzájemné soužití), People in Need (Člověk v tísni) and ROMEA have expressed their support for Šimůnková. "Together we are all expressing our support for the Deputy Public Defender of Rights, Monika Šimůnková, and our appreciation for both her and her colleagues for all of the work they have done so far at the Office of the Public Defender of Rights," the statement says. 

"Her expertise in the area of the agendas of human rights and equal opportunities, her support for persons living with disabilities, her leadership of the advisory body on monitoring the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, her expertise in the agenda of education, institutional care and persons deprived of their liberty, as well as other subjects, is unquestionable," the statement says. "We are therefore asking Public Defender of Rights Stanislav Křeček to reverse his decision and restore the agendas to Madame Deputy Public Defender of Rights Monika Šimůnková," the organizations conclude their statement, which news server Romea.cz is publishing in full translation here.   

Declaration of Disagreement with the Public Defender of Rights

We hereby express our disagreement with the approach taken by Public Defender of Rights Stanislav Křeček who, as of 1 July 2022, has removed all of the agendas assigned to Deputy Public Defender of Rights Monika Šimůnková and justified that by alleging "complications" of a managerial and personal nature have accompanied her work. We consider this approach to be absolutely inadequate interference with the position and the work of the Deputy Public Defender of Rights, who during more than two years in office at the Office of the Public Defender of Rights has repeatedly show her competence and qualifications and performed a great deal of important work at a high level of professionalism on these agendas.

Together we are all expressing our support for the Deputy Public Defender of Rights, Monika Šimůnková, and our appreciation for both her and her colleagues for all of the work they have done so far at the Office of the Public Defender of Rights. Her expertise in the area of the agendas of human rights and equal opportunities, her support for persons living with disabilities, her leadership of the advisory body on monitoring the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, her expertise in the agenda of education, institutional care and persons deprived of their liberty, as well as other subjects, is unquestionable.

At the same time, we hereby express our grave concerns as to whether these important agendas will be dealt with by the Public Defender of Rights in a manner that will be proportionate to their importance. Stanislav Křeček has repeatedly shown in the past that the agenda of human rights is not close to his heart, and he has committed a great deal of misconduct that is unethical, including making remarks that are xenophobic.

We are therefore asking Public Defender of Rights Stanislav Křeček to reverse his decision and restore these agendas to Madame Deputy Public Defender of Rights Monika Šimůnková.

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Monika Šimůnková, Neziskový sektor, Ombudsman, Stanislav Křeček



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