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Czech: 35th Anniversary Of Charter 77 Commemorations

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And in the Czech Republic, a conference commemorating Charter 77, a document that played a crucial role in the downfall of communism in Czechoslovakia. Our correspondents in Prague bring you this report from the 35th anniversary of the famous document.

A conference held in Prague in Archa theatre, dedicated to Charter 77 and its legacy in today's world.

Many of the original signatories and witnesses gather to remember the introduction of the document to the public 35 years ago.

[Martin Palous, Vaclav Havel Library director]:
“Charter 77 is, in its unique way, still with us today. It isn't just part of history and we want to remember this in friendly and respectful atmosphere today.”

Charter 77 was highly critical of the former establishment for human and civic rights violations.

One of its most famous contributors was the recently deceased former Czech president Vaclav Havel.

Participants of the meeting also connected by video-conference to a similar event held in Washington D. C., organized by National Foundation for Democracy.

The Washington event was dedicated to the life and work of Vaclav Havel, and was attended by Madeleine Albright, conveying a message from president Obama.

The influence of Charter 77 on similar documents such as Belarusian Charter 97 and Chinese Charter 08 was a key topic of discussion.

[Martin Palous, Vaclav Havel Library, Director]:
“You should know that there are people all around the world these days who commemorate Charter 77 and for whom the idea of the Charter is an inspiration.”

The main part of evening involved reading excerpts from the text of Charter 77, as well as works from its main contributors.

[Jachym Topol, Novelist]:
"After the visit in the interrogation room I got a permanent accompaniment...

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