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July 3, 2022



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Jan Palach was the Charles University student who set himself on fire on 16 January 1969 to protest the end of the Prague Spring after the August 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact troops. A copy of his death mask is now the centerpiece of the Jan Palach memorial on Charles University's Faculty of Arts building on Jan Palach Square in Prague.  (Collage:
Jan Palach was the Charles University student who set himself on fire on 16 January 1969 to protest the end of the Prague Spring after the August 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact troops. A copy of his death mask is now the centerpiece of the Jan Palach memorial on Charles University's Faculty of Arts building on Jan Palach Square in Prague. (Collage:

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Czech PM meets with forced sterilization victims and their representatives about compensation

3.9.2018 15:41 A press release from the Czech human rights organization League of Human Rights reports that on Tuesday, 21 August, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš met with the victims of forced sterilization who have been attempting to reopen the subject of compensation for their illegal treatment. The PM expressed support for their efforts and has tasked Czech Justice Minister Jan Kněžínek with negotiating the matter further.  full story

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Romani community member David Beňák now director of the Czech Govt Agency for Social Inclusion

2.6.2018 19:16 As of yesterday, the director of the Czech Government Agency for Social Inclusion is David Beňák, previously vice-minister for the Human Rights Section at the Office of the Government. He will take over the job after its having been entrusted to acting director Radka Soukupová for the last seven months.  full story

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Czech Justice Minister now in charge of human rights agenda, but will he join the next Government?

12.3.2018 7:08 The Friday edition of the daily Lidové noviny (LN) reported that outgoing Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) is rumored to have agreed with Czech President Miloš Zeman that Czech Justice Minister Robert Pelikán (ANO), currently entrusted with the human rights agenda, will not be in the next Government. LN reported that he will be replaced by Deputy Interior Minister Petr Mlsna, who is a lawyer.  full story

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Czech presidential candidate criticizes cancellation of Human Rights Minister post

4.1.2018 11:04 Czech presidential candidate Pavel Fischer is criticizing the Government of Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš for not appointing a Human Right Minister. Fischer said before the New Year that today, when it is exactly extremist voices that are being heard more and more frequently, such a move is absolutely incomprehensible.  full story

Council of Europe Secretary General Jagland. Photo: Council of Europe

Secretary General of the Council of Europe warns its 47 member states against limiting democracy

24.4.2017 8:54 European states must now make greater efforts so their democratic systems can successfully face down the threat of populism. That is the opinion of Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, as expressed in his annual report on the state of democracy, human rights and the rule of law, released on 20 April.
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US State Department reproaches Czech Republic over corruption, discrimination against Romani people

7.3.2017 7:10 The Czech Republic is continuing to grapple with corruption, the social discrimination of Romani people, and the stigmatization of persons infected with HIV. Those are the findings for that country in the most recent annual report from the US State Department about the state of human rights in the world.  full story

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ERRC Seeks Human Rights Monitors

16.12.2016 12:51 The European Roma Rights Centre invites applications from individuals for Human Rights Monitor positions in the following countries: Czech Republic, Serbia, and Slovakia.  full story

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Czech Human Rights Minister says USA's human rights report about the Czech Republic is correct and factual

15.4.2016 15:13 Czech Human Rights Minister Jiří Dienstbier (Czech Social Democratic Party - ČSSD) says the report issued by the US State Department on the state of human rights in the Czech Republic is correct and factual. In the document, which the American authorities publish annually, reservations were expressed regarding the situation of Romani people and the remarks made by political representatives about the migration crisis, including remarks made by Czech President Miloš Zeman.  full story

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Czech Education Minister insists on abolishing curriculum for "mild mental disability"

7.7.2015 0:10 Czech Education Minister Kateřina Valachová confirmed to the Czech News Agency on 3 July that nothing will change with the plan to abolish the use of reduced curricula for "mildly mentally disabled" pupils. Abolition of the curriculum is an important step toward an inclusive education and overcoming discrimination against Romani pupils in the Czech schools.  full story

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Karel Holomek: We cannot reconcile ourselves to segregation

23.3.2015 19:32, (ROMEA) The term "inclusive education" (inkluzívní vzdělávání) is turning up at a high frequency now and as a matter of course in all circles in the Czech Republic, both among experts and among lay people. We have all accepted it, whether we feel negatively or positively about it, without realizing that we have much more apposite, precise words already in Czech for what we might mean when we use this phrase.  full story

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Czech human rights film festival features films about Roma

Prague, 3.3.2015 21:58, (ROMEA) The 17th annual "One World" International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival will offer viewers 114 films from 59 countries (the complete festival program is here). "It's not that long ago that the basic principles of human freedom were not upheld in our country either. That's why it does no harm to take a moment before spring comes to look at the world from a different perspective than your everyday one," festival organizers say.  full story

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Czech Human Rights Minister: We must never forget the Nazi atrocities against millions of Jews, Roma and other human beings

Prague, 26.1.2015 20:33, (ROMEA) Tuesday, 27 January 2015 marks 70 years since the liberation of the concentration and extermination camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, a place that embodies and symbolizes the horrors of WWII to the entire world. That is why 27 January is Holocaust Victims' Remembrance and Prevention of Crimes against Humanity Day here.  full story

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Commentary: Disabled children don't have to sit in the corner

Prague, 19.1.2015 18:05, (ROMEA) The recent remarks by Czech President Miloš Zeman about inclusion have sparked a stormy discussion here. "I am not an advocate of the opinion that children who are handicapped in a certain way should be placed into classrooms with non-handicapped pupils, because that is unfortunate for both," the President said at the Rehabilitation Institute in Brandýs nad Orlicí as part of his visit to the Pardubice Region  full story

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Czech Human Rights Minister to thank Govt advisory bodies on Int'l Human Rights Day

Prague, 9.12.2014 18:35, (ROMEA) On the occasion of International Human Rights Day tomorrow, 10 December, Czech Minister for Human Rights, Equal Opportunities and Legislation Jiří Dienstbier, who is also a serving Senator, will meet in the Czech Senate with representatives of the Government's advisory bodies on human rights topics, most of which he chairs in his role as minister. He wants to thank the civil society members of these bodies for their work to date and discuss what they have achieved, what remains to be done, what the prospects are for the future, etc.  full story

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Czech human rights NGOs say politicians have long devalued human rights protections

Prague, 7.8.2014 20:51, (ROMEA) The Platform for Human Rights and other human rights organizations have turned to Czech MPs and cabinet ministers asking them to express their support for the work of the Human Rights, Equal Opportunities and Legislation Minister. The Platform emphasizes that a basic prerequisite for the functioning of a democratic, free society is the active, "pervasive" protection of human rights.  full story

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Czech Human Rights Minister: I don't comment on extremists

Prague, 30.6.2014 18:13, (ROMEA) Czech MP Tomio Okamura, the chair of the Úsvit ("Dawn of Direct Democracy") movement, has said he would abolish the post of Minister for Human Rights, Equal Opportunities and Legislation. He believes it is a waste of money.  full story

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Jarmila Balážová: New ministers could change Czech perceptions of gender and minorities

Prague, 20.1.2014 23:12, (ROMEA) We finally have the names of the cabinet to be led by incoming Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka. This means the strange double-government situation in this country will soon be over, one that has made it very difficult for the average citizen and the public in general, who directly elected a President and deputies to the lower house, to figure out who is basically doing what, especially what the outgoing, Zeman-appointed cabinet has abolished, approved, negotiated or reallocated.  full story

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