A travelling exhibition called the National Chronicle is now on display at the Václav Havel Square besides Prague’s National Theatre. It presents the outcomes of a project carried out by the Charter 77 Foundation along with the National Museum in which seniors share their memories of the past in order to document and preserve the memory of the nation.
Romany singer and composer Radek Banga is to receive the František Kriegel Award for civic courage, handed out annually by the Charter 77 Foundation. The popular rapper was selected for his fearless stand against racism and xenophobia in Czech society. He walked out of the Slavik Music Awards gala ceremony last year in protest against the fact that the band Ortel, known for its xenophobic and neo-Nazi lyrics, won second place in its category. He was later showered with insults and threats on the social media. František Kriegel, a Charter 77 signatory, was the only Czechoslovak politician who refused to sign Moscow's humiliating dictate after the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia in August of 1968.
When Czechoslovak dissidents produced samizdat literature in the late communist period they did so in large part thanks to the material and financial support of the Charter 77 Foundation. It was run by František Janouch, a Czech émigré who is still mainly based in Sweden. In the second half of a two-part interview with the nuclear scientist, we discussed his relationship with Václav Havel, the Velvet Revolution and the work of the Charter 77 Foundation today. But first I asked Mr. Janouch, now 85, how the organisation had managed to get printers
A nuclear scientist, František Janouch is perhaps best-known for the Charter 77 Foundation, which he set up in exile in Sweden to provide dissidents in his native Czechoslovakia with financial support and technical equipment in the latter years of the communist regime. In this the first half of a two-part interview, Mr. Janouch – who turned 85 last week – recalls the war, his years in the Communist Party, his forced emigration and the beginnings of the Charter 77 Foundation.
Foundation Charter 77 has started raising money for a bell to honour the late president Václav Havel on the fifth anniversary of his death in December of this year. The Bell for Havel project will send thirty small bells around the world bearing a message of remembrance and gratitude. They will eventually return to Prague to be sold in an auction. The money raised, together with contributions from individuals, will be used to cast a bell named Václav which will be placed at the Church of St. Havel in downtown Prague. I asked Evžen Hart from Foundation
The 2015 František Kriegel Award for civic courage, handed out annually by the Charter 77 Foundation, was given to the representatives of the Klinika social centre, which became a target of an arson attack by ultra-right radicals this year. An independent jury praised the centre's voluntary activities for its humanity and for not falling under the influence of ideology or market forces. František Kriegel, the Charter 77 signatory, was the only Czechoslovak political leader who refused to sign Moscow's humiliating dictate after the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia in August of 1968.
The Václav Havel award for human rights has been established in Prague in memory of the late Czech president, dissident playwright and human rights advocate. The prize, which will reward activities in defence of human rights around the world, will be first handed out this autumn by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe along with the Václav Havel Library and the Charta 77 Foundation.
A group of Romany students has launched a “crisis response project” to improve the public image of Romanies in the Czech Republic and help ease tensions that have been building in Czech society. The group is hoping to cooperate with local and national state institutions. According to one of the members, David Tišer, some 160 young Romanies have joined the group so far. He added that the impulse to found the initiative had come from an incident that happened in Slovakia on the weekend. A police officer shot three Romanies and injured two others. Czech Romanies are also the target of violence, he added.
This year’s Frantíšek Kriegl Award will go to children’s neurologist and politician in the northeast Bohemian town of Most, Alena Dernerová. The award, recognising outstanding civic courage, is given by the Charter 77 Foundation. The award bears the name of Charter 77 signatory Frantíšek Kriegel, who was the only Czechoslovak political leader who refused to sign Moscow's humiliating dictate after the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia in August of 1968. Ms Dernerová is being recognised for her efforts in fighting corruption in the health sector, putting the spotlight, for example, on corruption in public tenders for hospital healthcare equipment. Alena Dernerová will receive the award in May.