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Charter 77 signatory: Gov’t gives up human rights defence

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Prague, Jan 7 (CTK) – The Czech state defended human rights for a long time and only the current government gave up this heritage because of business interests, former lawmaker and one Charter 77 movement’s signatories, Daniel Kroupa, said at a conference marking the movement’s 40th anniversary on Saturday.

He said Czech dissidents and Charter 77 could not have existed without support from abroad, without people from free countries who showed interests in the development in Czechoslovakia. Having this experience, the Czech Republic should take an active role in the fight for human rights in the world, he added.

This centre-left government of Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) is the first one that abandoned this agenda, Kroupa said.

Czech society should press on the state to restart its fight against violation of human rights, he said.

The dissident manifesto was signed by 242 people by the end of 1976 and it was launched to the world on January 6, 1977. Its first spokespersons were playwright Vaclav Havel, former foreign minister Jiri Hajek and philosopher Jan Patocka.

The Charter 77 movement was opposed to the violation of human and civic rights in the country. By January 1990, Charter 77 was signed by over 1800 people.

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