Archive documents show EU tried to defend Charter 77 acttivists

Czech Television has acquired hereto unpublished documents indicating that the European Parliament and the foreign ministers of individual EU member states publicly opposed the persecution of dissidents in Communist Czechoslovakia.

Czech public television was granted access to documents in Italian and Belgian archives in which the European Parliament and individual ministers call on the Czechoslovak authorities to respect human rights and condemn the threats, beatings and imprisonment which the communist secret police applied in trying to squash resistance to the regime in the 1970s and 1980s.

The pressure on the regime mounted particularly after the death of Charter 77 spokesman, philosopher Jan Patocka who died in 1977 after a number of brutal interrogations at the hands of the communist secret police.