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October 20, 2018
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Czech Republic: ROMEA organization is a recipient of the Anticorruption Endowment's award for bravery

12.12.2017 10:16
Zdeněk Ryšavý (left) and František Bikár (center) of the ROMEA organization received the Award for Bravery from Karel Janeček (right) of the Anticorruption Endowment in the Czech Republic on 11 December 2017. (PHOTO: Jan Mihaliček)
Zdeněk Ryšavý (left) and František Bikár (center) of the ROMEA organization received the Award for Bravery from Karel Janeček (right) of the Anticorruption Endowment in the Czech Republic on 11 December 2017. (PHOTO: Jan Mihaliček)

The Anticorruption Endowment (Nadační fond proti korupci - NFPK) in the Czech Republic has given its awards for bravery this year to the ROMEA organization, to activist Jakub Čech, and to a former director of the Quality Control Department of the Road and Motorway Directorate. The award is given to people who are not afraid to point out the existence of corruption or other negative phenomena in society irrespective of the consequences for them personally.

The first place award went to Pošvářová, a transportation expert who is active with the "Shadow Road and Motorway Directorate", another endowment fund established by transport entrepreneur Radim Jančura. Among other matters, Pošvářová has long criticized the quality of transportation construction in the Czech Republic.

Čech received the second place award this year for his civic activism and for raising interest in public affairs. The young activist is famous for taking an interest in the activities of the town hall in his native Prostějov.

There he raised the alarm, for example, about the case of two deputy mayors and a town councilor who, according to him, had not properly declared their conflicts of interest before the local assembly voted on a subsidy for the local Workers' Gym, even though those particular politicians were also members of that organization, which provides physical education. The Regional Authority in Olomouc later confirmed that the local politicians had indeed committed a misdemeanor.

ROMEA received the third-place award for its work breaking news about trafficking in poverty and in votes. The nonprofit organization aims to promote the fight against racism and to help develop tolerance in society.

When receiving the award, the organization thanked all who support it and who are not afraid to speak out against racism and xenophobia today. Director Zdeněk Ryšavý thanked all the victims of trafficking in poverty who are not afraid, despite the personal sacrifice it entails, to speak out about their experiences.

Ryšavý also thanked all of the people who have joined the fundraising campaign called "THEY WANT TO GAS THEM, WE WANT TO SEND THEM TO SCHOOL!" in support of the pupils attending the primary school in Teplice that was recently attacked online and in support of ROMEA's scholarship program for Romani students. The Anticorruption Endowment's award includes money:  Pošvářová received CZK 111 132 (EUR 4 337), Čech received CZK 30 492 (EUR 1 190) and ROMEA received CZK 14 641 (EUR 570).

This is the seventh time the endowment has given its award for bravery. In the past the award has been given to former Finance Ministry departmental director Martina Uhrinová, who warned of suspicious behavior by bureaucrats in the "Stork's Nest" scandal, and to Jiří Kotek, the former Deputy Mayor of Karlovy Vary who published a video recording of a rigged competition for the KV Arena in Karlovy Vary in April 2006.

ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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