Charles U. petition protests neo-Nazis’ plan to use Jan Palach’s image at Italian concert

More than 1,100 people have signed an online petition launched by Charles University students protesting plans by far-right and neo-Nazi groups to use the name and likeness of Jan Palach at an upcoming concert in in Verona, Italy.

Palach, who studied at Charles University, died in January 1969 several days after having setting himself alight in Prague in protest at Czech apathy in the face of the ongoing Soviet occupation.

The online petition also calls for local Italian authorities to distance themselves from any support for the action to be held in Verona on 19 January, the 50th anniversary of the tragic death of Jan Palach.

The concert in Verona is to be held under the motto “Country and Freedom”.

The Italian newspaper La Republicca reported in December that certain ultra-right groups have long appropriated Palach’s legacy both “politically and culturally”.