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Former RFE reporter, ambassador Belcredi dies aged 89

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Prostejov, South Moravia/Brno, Dec 28 (CTK) – Richard Belcredi, former reporter of the U.S. station Radio Free Europe (RFE) and Czech ambassador to Switzerland in the 1990s, died in a hospital in Prostejov before Christmas at the age of 89, his nephew Ludvik Belcredi has told CTK.

In the past years, Belcredi, from an old noble family, lived in Brodek near Prostejov in the chateau that was returned to the Belcredis within the post-1989 restitution.

He suffered from health troubles of late.

A mass in commemoration of Belcredi will be held in the Brodek u Prostejova church on January 2, 13:00. Belcredi´s funeral will take place in Austria later.

Belcredi was born in Brno-Lisen, where his family owned a chateau and land, in 1926.

He emigrated in 1949, in the year following the communist seizure of power in Czechoslovakia.

He worked in the Munich-based RFE for 30 years. Later he worked for the Opus bonum group that organised famous seminars for emigrants in Franken.

Belcredi, together with another Czech emigrant, Pavel Tigrid, and other people, helped smuggle banned literature to communist countries. He was always opposed to communist totalitarianism.

After the 1989 fall of the communist regime, Belcredi returned to Czechoslovakia.

In 1994, he accepted the post of ambassador to Switzerland, which he held for four years.

In 1998, president Vaclav Havel bestowed a high state decoration, the Order of Tomas Garrigue Masaryk, on Belcredi for his outstanding contribution to democracy and human rights.

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