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Czech anti-communist fighter status granted to Wonka brothers

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Prague, Feb 26 (CTK) – The Pavel and Jiri Wonka brothers, who repeatedly criticised the human rights violation in pre-1989 Czechoslovakia, were among the 34 people who were granted the certificate of members of the anti-communist struggle and resistance in Prague on Monday.

Pavel Wonka, often referred to as the last political prisoner in communist Czechoslovakia to have died in jail, was granted the award in memoriam.

The certificate also went to his brother, who, too, was imprisoned and persecuted by the communists and who achieved a court rehabilitation of his own and of his brother after the collapse of the communist regime in 1989.

Pavel Wonka died, aged 35, under still unclarified circumstances in the Hradec Kralove prison, east Bohemia, in April 1988. He was imprisoned three times over his opinions and activities.

Wonka’s death met with protests in the world. His funeral in his native east Bohemian town Vrchlabi was attended by 2,000 people including Charter 77 pro-democracy manifesto signatories, members of the Jazz Section, the Committee for the Unjustly Prosecuted People (VONS), and also representatives of eight embassies of Western countries and a German TV crew.

No one was punished for Pavel Wonka’s death.

The certificate of anti-communist struggle members has been granted by the Defence Ministry based on the law on the anti-communist struggle and resistance. It mainly decides based on documents in the security forces archives and the testimonies of witnesses.

The first certificate was granted in April 2012, and about 1,400 people have received it since. It carries 100,000 crowns for the participants and a half of the sum for their surviving widows or widowers.

Apart from the Wonka brothers, Defence Minister Karla Slechtova gave the certificate to another 32 people, including six in memoriam, on Monday.

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