The Czech Ministry of the Interior has reduced by over one-quarter its funding for non-governmental organisations focused on preventing corruption. The money has been diverted into an anti-drink driving campaign – despite a previous government pledge to allocate more funds to anti-graft groups. I discussed the news with David Ondráčka, head of the Czech branch of watchdog group Transparency International.
A bust of the late Chinese dissident and Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo is due to be unveiled at Prague’s DOX gallery this coming Monday. The ceremony is part of an event commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Among the guests will be Liu Xiaobo’s widow and two of the former student leaders.
Anyone who is interested in the history of Central and Eastern Europe has likely come across the name Marci Shore. An associate Professor at Yale University, she has published a number of books focusing on the modern history of post-communist countries. She stopped by Czech Radio, while travelling through Prague earlier this week, and I started by asking her about the impact that Nazism and Communism had on the region and the psyche of its people.
The film Heart of Stone has taken the Best Film prize at this year’s
edition of the One World festival of human rights documentaries in Prague.
The winning documentary is about an Afghan refugee in France. The Best
Director award went to Denmark’s Mads Brugger, maker of Cold Case
The festival’s prize for the best Czech film in competition went to The Good Death by Tomáš Krupa, which is about a woman who goes to Switzerland for assisted suicide.
The humanitarian group People in Need has launched an internet application
called Doložkomat (“clauseomat”) which allows borrowers to assess
seizure orders against them.
The application determines whether a clause is valid or illegal due to a non-transparent arbitration clause. If a seizure order is deemed illegal, it generates a petition for halting it.
Daniel Hůle of People in Need said the app could help stop as many as 100,000 illegal seizures. He said about 90 percent of the market for loans with illegal arbitration clauses is represented by four companies: Essox, Home Credit, Cetelem and Komerční banka.
The One World Film Festival, known in Czech as “Jeden Svět“ launched
on Wednesday afternoon in Prague. The festival opened with a lecture by the
President of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile Sikyong Lobsang Sangay, who
spoke on the current situation in Tibet. The lecture will be followed this
evening by the Nicaraguan farmer activist Francisca Ramírez receiving the
Homo Homini Award by festival organisers and human rights NGO People in
Apart from dozens of thematic films, the festival features a number of workshops and lectures. It will run until March 17.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Tomáš Petříček has expressed the Czech
Republic’s unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial
integrity and deep concern about the plight of millions of effectively
Speaking at a high-level session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday, Minister Petříček said Czech observers would monitor the Ukrainian presidential elections as part of the OSCE mission. He reiterated Czech support for Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó, widely recognised as the interim president.
He also noted that the Czech Republic was the driving force behind the council resolution on Equal Participation in Political and Public Affairs adopted in September 2018 and encouraged states to use the new guidelines for the effective implementation of the right to participate in public affairs.
Minister Petříček also congratulated Cambodia, the Czech Republic’s priority partner country, on new initiatives promoting public participation in law and policy decisions. But he said Cambodia could do more to create space for civil society and a free press.
A Czech non-profit organisation based in Brno has developed a special mobile phone application for drug users and people living on the streets. Called Čára or Line, it will help them find accommodation, food or free needle exchange. The app, reported to be the first of its kind in Europe, has just been launched for a trial run.
Wednesday marks 100 years since the establishment of the Czechoslovak branch of the International Red Cross, today known as the Czech Red Cross. It was founded and chaired by Alice Masaryková, the daughter of Czechoslovakia’s first president and a pioneer in the field of social care. Its establishment was officially approved by the president on February 6, 1919.
Czechs offer restoration experts to help France rebuild Notre-Dame cathedral
“We will remember them”: Trevor Sage, the Englishman cleaning Prague’s Holocaust memorial plaques
The Czech “koruna” celebrates 100th birthday
Czech Easter traditions explained
Czech “breastfeeding guerrilla” mums stage “feed-ins” over incident at Austrian bank