Czechs are marking the 48th anniversary of the self-immolation of student Jan Palach in protest against the nation’s growing apathy to the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia. Palach set himself ablaze at the top end of Wenceslas Square, suffering burns to 95 percent of his body, on January 16, 1969. He died three days later. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka was among the first to pay homage to his memory at the site on Monday telling journalists Palach’s courageous act was an important part of the country’s history and should never be forgotten. A number of events have been planned in the course of the day, including the start of a chain hunger strike by students, mirroring the course of events between Palach’s self-immolation and his tragic death in 1969.
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