President Zeman hands out state distinctions

On the occasion of the centenary of the birth of Czechoslovakia President Miloš Zeman handed out state distinctions to leading personalities and selected members of the public. Among the historical figures honoured in memoriam on the occasion of the centenary celebrations are Antonín Švehla, who served three terms as the prime minister of Czechoslovakia in the years of the First Republic, and three generals of the First Republic Josef Bilý, Stanislav Čeček and Karel Husárek.

The president also awarded medals for bravery, in memoriam, to three Czech soldiers killed in Afghanistan in August of this year, Martin Marcin,Kamil Beneš and Patrik Štěpánek.

Other recipients include two-time Olympic gold medallist, Ester Ledecká, and retired tennis player Radek Štěpánek.

The Office of the President has sparked controversy by failing to invite President Zeman’s critics to the event. Dozens of others refused to attend in protest.