Almost thirty years have passed since communist Czechoslovakia's secret police first masterminded their infamous Asanace campaign - a clearance operation that used intimidation, mental and physical abuse, even torture - to get Czechoslovak dissidents to flee the country. In 2002, three officials received suspended sentences for their involvement in the campaign, while two received three-year sentences. The verdicts were later overturned on a technicality, only to be reinstated once again by a Prague court this week. With the jail sentences one episode
A Prague court has confirmed a three-year prison sentence for two former members of the communist political police, Jiri Simak and Zbynek Dudek. The two men were found guilty of torturing political prisoners in 1981 during a secret operation that was devised to force members of the anti-communist opposition to leave Czechoslovakia. The two men had already been sentenced two years ago but the Supreme Court annulled the verdict due to technicalities.
The row around the appointment of Pavel Pribyl as head of the government's office is now over. Mr Pribyl's problems became untenable when it emerged that he had commanded a riot police unit which beat up anti communist demonstrators in the streets of Prague in 1989. Pribyl resigned last Friday and will most likely be replaced by a man whose past could hardly be more different - former dissident Ales Sulc. Pribyl is gone -but a lot of questions remain unanswered. How is it possible for a man with such a history to have gone undetected for so long
Ales Sulc, the current head of the interior ministry's security department, is to replace Pavel Pribyl as head of the government's office. Pribyl was forced to resign from the post due to growing public pressure when it emerged that in 1989 he commanded a riot police unit sent to break up anti-communist protests in the streets of Prague. Ales Sulc is a former dissident and signatory of the Charter 77 human rights manifesto. Mr. Sulc has confirmed that he accepted the Prime Minister's offer on Friday. His appointment has yet to be approved by the government.
Over a hundred people gathered in front of the Czech Radio building on Saturday to commemorate the anniversary of the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. Vinohradska Street, where Czech Radio is situated, was one of the places that saw the biggest clashes between occupying Warsaw Pact troops and Czech demonstrators, and therefore is a venue where eyewitnesses and public personalities recall these events every year on the 21st August - the day Czechoslovakia was occupied.
Today we look at the roles of some of those who believed in the Czech branch of socialism, announcers at Radio Prague during the 50s and 60s. We'll find out what inspired them to leave their homes in Canada and the U.S. to make a new start in Prague - to help build socialism in former Czechoslovakia - a very unusual fate.
Angry crowds gathered outside government buildings on Tuesday to protest against Prime Minister Stanislav Gross's appointment of Pavel Prybyl as head of the Office of Government. Mr Gross has been coming under increasing pressure to remove Mr Pribyl amid allegations that he headed a riot-police unit that was sent to break up anti-communist protests on the streets of Prague in 1989.
The Czech Cabinet has barely been in office for a fortnight and it is already facing its first big scandal - the head of the Office of the Government, Pavel Pribyl, is reported to have a shady past. It emerged shortly after he took office last week that Mr. Pribyl allegedly headed a communist riot police unit that was sent to break up anti-communist protests in the streets of Prague in January 1989, on the anniversary of the death of Jan Palach.
About 50 well known personalities have signed a petition demanding the resignation of Government Office head Pavel Pribyl. Pribyl took office last week and it has since emerged that in 1989 he headed a police unit that was sent to break up anti-communist protests in the streets of Prague. The organizers of the petition are planning to stage a protest outside the Czech government building on Tuesday morning, when the Cabinet is due to meet.
Former Communist Party functionary Karel Hoffmann has begun serving a four-year sentence at Prague's Pankrac prison, after being found guilty of disrupting Czech Radio broadcasts during the Soviet-led invasion of August 1968. On Sunday, President Vaclav Klaus said he was considering granting a pardon to Mr Hoffmann, who is 80 years old and in poor health. Mr Klaus said it would be strange to send someone to prison 36 years after they had broken the law on telecommunications. Karel Hoffmann remains the only senior communist to have been sentenced in connection with the events of 1968.
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