Friday, 18 April 2014

Dissidents support anti-Communist protests

17 January 2013

Prague, Jan 16 (CTK) - Representatives of the dissident movement under the Communist regime who were detained during the protest "Palach Week" on Wenceslas Square in Prague in 1989 supported student protests against Communists being appointed to regional governments in the same place yesterday.

Since the October 2012 regional elections, the opposition Social Democrats and Communists have been ruling in most of the 13 Czech regions.

A series of protests is staged by the Without Communists group in a number of towns this week.

During a brief meeting, the veteran dissidents laid flowers at the Saint Wenceslas monument and recalled the events 24 years ago.

In January 1969, student Jan Palach burnt himself to death to protest against the 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia.

"Communists falsified history, usurping for themselves the personalities and historical milestones with which they had absolutely nothing in common, falsifying both research and statistical data," former dissident Petr Placak said.

"They used to censor all information in the country, from the media to song lyrics and service instructions, they banned not only professional literature and fiction, but also nursery rhymes just because they were written or illustrated by a person who was out of official favour," Placak said.

Placek said in a statement read to media representatives that the present-day Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSCM) not only did not distance itself from its rule, but "it presents the time of the utter cultural and economic downfall as an apex of our history."

Out of those detained during the public rallies on January 15-20, 1989, yesterday's event was attended by Dana Nemcova, Jana Petrova-Marco, David Nemec, Ota Veverka, Stanislav Penc and Alexandr Vondra, until recently Czech defence minister.

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