Friday, 25 April 2014

Former dissident Jaroslav Šabata dies aged 84

15 June 2012

Brno, June 14 (CTK) - Jaroslav Sabata, a former leading Brno dissident, Charter 77 signatory and spokesman, and Czech minister without portfolio for the Civic Forum (OF) in 1990-92, died after a serious disease early yesterday, aged 84, his son-in-law Petr Uhl has told CTK.

Sabata, a left-wing politician, psychologist and political scientist, was born in Dolenice, south Moravia, on November 2, 1927.

In the 1950s and 1960s he taught at the psychology chair of Brno University.

He was active in the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSC) until 1969 when he gave up all political posts.

In the early 1970s he founded the Communists in Opposition group. He was imprisoned twice for his activities during the hardline communist "normalisation" period that followed the crushing of the communist-led reform movement Prague Spring by a Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968.

First he was imprisoned in 1971-76 and again in 1978-80.

He signed the Charter 77 human rights platform and was its spokesman in 1978-81.

After the fall of the previous regime he was active in top politics. He was a representative of the OF broad anti-communist movement and a deputy to the Federal Assembly (parliament).

In 1990-92 he was a minister without portfolio in Petr Pithart's government.

Later Sabata was a foreign political adviser to the Czech Social Democratic Party (CSSD) of which he was a member.

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