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August 11, 2022



Leader of the Czech lower house wants explanation in person from Public Defender of Rights about how he has treated the Deputy Public Defender of Rights

1.7.2022 8:21
Markéta Pekarová Adamová (TOP 09). (PHOTO:  David Sedlecký, Wikimedia Commons)
Markéta Pekarová Adamová (TOP 09). (PHOTO: David Sedlecký, Wikimedia Commons)

The President of the Chamber of Deputies, MP Pekarová Adamová (TOP 09) wants Public Defender of Rights (ombudsman) Stanislav Křeček to meet with her in person to explain his reasons for deciding to take back the agendas he had entrusted to Deputy Public Defender of Rights Monika Šimůnková and to revoke her signature rights. Pekarová Adamová has issued a press release in which she calls the move unprecedented.

The leader of the lower house also said she is following the issue with considerable concern. Křeček has cancelled Šimůnková's signature rights and alleged that her work has caused "complications" of a managerial and personal nature. 

Šimůnková wants to ask the Chamber of Deputies to intervene in the matter, even though whoever holds the ombudsman post cannot be easily dismissed by law. She is also considering filing a defamation lawsuit over some of Křeček's remarks about her.

"Ms Monika Šimůnková is a lawyer who is recognized and respected by experts and for more than two years, her work in this post has been positively received by the public as well. I consider the public justifications given by the ombudsman regarding his revoking all of the agendas entrusted to the deputy to be insufficient," Pekarová Adamová said.  

The leader of the lower house has insisted on a more detailed explanation from Křeček of his decision during an in-person meeting at the Chamber of Deputies. He has led the Office of the Public Defender of Rights since February 2020.

The Czech Senate recently called on him to stop making racist and xenophobic remarks, finding in a resolution that he is damaging the ombudsman's position by so doing. The senators also called on him to behave courteously toward Šimůnková. 

Křeček and Šimůnková have disagreed on issues previously, such as fathers being allowed to be present during the delivery of their children in hospitals or parents being allowed to stay with children who have been hospitalized. The law on the Public Defender of Rights stipulates that the holder of that office can entrust the Deputy Public Defender of Rights with responsibility for some of the activities of the institution.

In his announcement that he has decided not to take advantage any longer of the opportunity to entrust some agendas to the Deputy Public Defender of Rights, Křeček said he is attempting to "stabilize the functioning" of the institution. His decision takes effect today. 

Křeček also alleged that "complications" of a managerial and personal nature have been caused by Šimůnková's work. She has said she considers the revocation of her authority to be an absolutely unprecedented interference with the Deputy Public Defender of Rights position and the culmination of longstanding problems between her and the ombudsman.

ČTK, ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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