Slovak President Čaputová awards Romani doctor and human rights activist with state honors
Yesterday Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová awarded high state honors in memoriam to Ján Cibuľa, the first Romani community member in the former Czechoslovakia to graduate from Bratislava's Comenius University and its Faculty of Medicine. She awarded high state honors to a total of 20 public figures, including in memoriam to Milada Horáková, a Czech politician murdered by the communist regime in Czechoslovakia, and to Slovaks who contributed to the Velvet Revolution leading to the fall of that same regime in 1989.
Two resistance fighters from the Second World War were also given honors, as were representatives of artistic and social life. The gala awards ceremony was held on the occasion of the 27th anniversary of the birth of an independent Slovakia, which the country marks on 1 January.
Cibuľa was given the Order of Ľudovít Štúr First Class in memoriam for his exceptional service in developing society and spreading the good name of the Slovak Republic abroad; the award was received on his behalf by his son, David Cibuľa. A native of Klenovec, he worked as a general practitioner in Bern, Switzerland after successfully graduating from the Faculty of Medicine at Comenius.
In addition to his profession, Cibuľa gave time to fighting for the rights of Romani people and improving their position in civilized society. He was a co-founder of Czechoslovakia's Union of Gypsies-Roma (Svaz Cikánů-Romů) in Slovakia and among the co-organizers of the very first congress of the International Romani Union (IRU), of which he also later became president.
Cibuľa is said to have most valued receiving the Swiss Prize for Culture from the canton of Bern in 1985. He is one of the most eminent Romani figures of the 20th century not just in Europe, but worldwide.
In the year 2001 the Association of Czechoslovak Roma in Canada nominated Cibuľa for the Nobel Peace Prize. Čaputová said in her speech yesterday that Slovakia has exceptional people who have been of extraordinary benefit to their homeland.
Her predecessor, Andrej Kiska, gave state honors last year to 30 figures. Among those receiving the Order of Ľudovít Štúr First Class last year was the former Slovak Government Plenipotentiary for the Roma, Klára Orgovánová, while historian Zuzana Kumanová received the Pribin Cross First Class.
- Czech-Slovak co-production of TV singing contest to feature Romani celebrity on the jury
- Slovakia ahead of elections: Romani candidate suing fascists for defamation
- UK: Anti-fascists, Roma, students thwart planned meeting of Slovak fascists in London
- LIVE BROADCAST TODAY AT 19:00 CET: "Light in the Darkness" - Romani community gives awards in Slovakia
- Czech Ice Hockey Union fines club because its fans called Romani player a "gypsy", cites World Romani Congress
- International Romani Union expresses solidarity and sorrow over the fire at Notre Dame cathedral
- Czech Republic: Ignác Zima, co-founder of the Union of Gypsies-Roma, has passed away
- International Romani Union says offer to help Trump came from Rom facing traditional community justice procedure in Romania
- Analysis: Swiss Parliament approves law on "solidarity aid" to victims of forced sterilization
- International Romani Union president calls for aid to the mother of deceased journalist
- International Romani Union: Freedom is the most important value
- Swiss funding supports health, crime prevention in Roma communities
- Discrimination still a major problem in Switzerland, says UN
- Open letter from the Secretary General of IRU to the world leaders
- Romani girl runner in Slovakia scores another regional victory
- Forbes.cz: Romani celebrity Monika Bagárová is the third most influential person on Czech Instagram
- Commemoration at WWII-era concentration camp for Roma in Czech Republic to give Award for Humanity to Gwendolyn Albert
- Romani activist, journalist, poet and translator Jan Döme Horváth has passed away in the Czech Republic
- The Central Council of German Sinti and Roma is deeply saddened by the death of Holocaust survivor and Roma civil rights activist Raymond Gurême
- Romani musician proposed for Czech state honors
- Martin Mata: Save your money, the pandemic will have an overwhelming economic impact
- Romani doctor in the Czech Republic: This work is enormously meaningful during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Slovak Govt Plenipotentiary for Roma: We don't want closed settlements, testing residents for COVID-19 will prevent repressive measures
- Romani activist will seek to become chair of Progressive Slovakia party
- Czech ombudsman "likes" racist post on Facebook, refuses to answer questions about what that means
- Newly-elected Slovak MP Jarmila Vaňová: I thank Romani voters for coming out and demanding change