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Wollner, Dobrovský win Peroutka Prize

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Prague, Feb 4 (CTK) – The annual Czech journalism Ferdinand Peroutka Prize for 2015 was given to Marek Wollner, chief editor of investigative journalism of the public Czech Television (CT), and Lubos Dobrovsky, journalist and former dissident and politician, in the DOX centre in Prague on Thursday.

POeroutka’s grand daughter Terezie Kaslova who presented the prize recently sued the Czech state over President Milos Zeman’s statements that Peroutka was fascinated by Nazism. Zeman failed to prove his claims. Czech experts say there are no wartime texts by Peroutka that praised Hitler.

Dobrovsky, 84, received the prize for his lifelong journalistic work. In the 1960s, he worked for the Czechoslovak Radio, but he lost his job after the Prague Spring reform movement was suppressed and the Soviet troops occupied the country in 1968. He was forced to do manual jobs until 1989.

Dobrovsky was among the first signatories of the dissident Charter 77 human rights manifesto. He edited illegal publications and translated Russian and Polish books.

After the fall of the Czechoslovak communist regime in 1989, he was the spokesman for the umbrella Civic Forum (OF) democratic movement, defence minister (1990-92), head of the presidential office of Vaclav Havel (1992-96) and ambassador to Moscow (1996-2000).

Wollner was an investigative journalist who worked for the daily Lidove noviny (LN) and the weekly magazines Respekt and Tyden. He has been working for CT since 1999. In 2004, he stopped working as a news editor and started Reporteri CT, one of the best known investigative journalism programmes.

Last year, the Peroutka Prize went to journalist Petr Tresnak, from the weekly Respekt, and Martin Veselovsky, from the DVTV Internet Television.

The prize was established in 1995 on Peroutka’s 100th birth anniversary.

Ferdinand Peroutka (1895-1978) was a respected Czechoslovak journalist who left the country after the communist coup in 1948. He headed the New York-based Radio Free Europe ́s Czech-language section in 1951-1961.

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