The government‘s Council for Human Rights has supported Helena Válková
in the post of government commissioner for human rights in the wake of a
scandal concerning her activities under the communist regime.
Two council members - attorney Tomáš Němeček and Hubert Smekal from the Faculty of Social Studies of Masaryk University – resigned in protest of the outcome of the vote.
Válková, who is accused of having defended laws which the communist authorities used to harass dissidents and co-authored an article with the notorious communist prosecutor who sent Milada Horáková to the gallows, told reporters that she had apparently managed to better explain all the circumstances of her case and had gained support in the council.
The Government Council for Human Rights has 25 members. Fifteen of them are representatives of the Office of the Government, ministries and other institutions. Ten members represent the public, among them the two who resigned. Another member of the council, philosopher Daniel Kroupa, resigned last year when Válková took up her post.
The search for the Czech Republic’s next ombudsman continues to be marred by controversy. After withdrawing his first nomination, the president announced a new candidate for the post, former deputy ombudsman Stanislav Křeček. However, while in that position the octogenarian had serious disagreements with the current public defender of citizens’ rights.
President Miloš Zeman, who nominated the government‘s commissioner for
human rights, Helena Válková, to the post of ombudswoman, has welcomed
her decision to refuse the nomination in the wake of allegations that she
had defended laws against dissidents during the Communist regime.He
indicated he might nominate Social Democrat MP Kateřina Valachová in her
According to the news site info.cz Válková also collaborated in her professional work with the former state prosecutor Josef Urválek, who was responsible for securing the death sentences of Milada Horáková, Rudolf Slánský and others in 1950s Communist show trials.
The news has put Válková under pressure to refuse the nomination for the post of ombudswoman and resign as the government‘s commissioner for human rights. Deputy Prime Minister Jan Hamáček said on Sunday he would welcome her resignation.Válková has made no indication she is considering such a move.
She told journalists that the claims made by the news site info.cz were untruthful and insulting and that she planned to sue the site for slander. She said she could only be criticized for having joined the communist party.
Former justice minister and the current government commissioner for human
rights, Helena Válková, has rejected allegations that she had defended
laws against dissidents during the Communist regime and collaborated in her
professional work with the former state prosecutor Josef Urválek, who was
responsible for securing the death sentences of Milada Horáková, Rudolf
Slánský and others in 1950s Communist show trials.
Válková told journalists that the claims made by the news site info.cz were untruthful and insulting and that she planned to sue the site for slander.
At the same time Ms. Válková, whom the president nominated for the position of Ombudswoman, told Czech Television she had not been aware of Urvalek’s past when she worked with him.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and Deputy Prime Minister Jan Hamáček have both said the allegations are extremely serious and that they are awaiting an explanation from Mrs. Válková.
Former minister of justice and current government commissioner for human
rights, Helena Válková, defended laws against dissidents during the
Communist regime, the news site info.cz reported on Thursday.
At the turn of the 1970s and 80s, Mrs Válková published a series of articles in which she defended measures used by the Communist regime to restrict the rights of its opponents, the website writes.
It also says she collaborated on writing one of her articles with the state prosecutor Josef Urválek, who was responsible for securing the death sentences of Milada Horáková, Rudolf Slánský and others in 1950s Communist show trials.
Mrs Válková, whom President Miloš Zeman recently proposed for the post of the Czech Republic’s ombudswoman, denied any wrongdoing, saying the article was insulting and untruthful.
MP Helena Válková (ANO), the newly appointed government Commissioner for
Human Rights, plans to focus on protecting the rights of children, seniors,
the socially disadvantaged and handicapped people.
Válková, a former minister of justice who helped draft a law strengthening the rights of victims of crime, said she plans to retain her seat in the lower house of Parliament.
The position of Commissioner for Human Rights had been vacant since Martina Štěpánková stepped down at the end of March, less than a year after taking office.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has proposed former justice minister and ANO
MP Helena Válková for the post of government commissioner for human
If the government approves her nomination at its session on Monday she would start in office on May 1st.
Helena Válková would replace Martina Štěpánková who has served in the post since it was reinstated last June.
A debate in the Czech Senate held under the title “Should we fear Islam” turned stormy on Wednesday after one of the speakers compared Islam to totalitarian regimes such as Nazism or Communism. The ambassadors of several Muslim countries walked out in protest, and the Czech Foreign Ministry later issued a statement denouncing the comparison and calling for greater inter-religious dialogue.
The sometimes incendiary nature of recent Czech history has once again been demonstrated. Lower house of parliament lawmakers have backed a proposal to rename the November 17 holiday which marks the start of the Velvet Revolution in a move which has been interpreted as a victory of sorts for the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSČM).
Justice Minister Robert Pelikán has concluded that the complaint filed by the former head of the Czech Prison Service Petr Dohnal regarding his dismissal from office is justified. Dohnal was dismissed for incompetence by the former justice minister Helena Válkova. He said Válková had blamed him for mistakes made by the previous management and argued that his dismissal was unsubstantiated and illegal. The present situation presents a legal problem and could leave the country with two heads of the prison service.