published: 01.11.2013, 17:38 | updated: 01.11.2013 17:40:43
Prague - President Milos Zeman has not given a state decoration to late Jiri Hajek, former diplomat and dissident, since he considers the request of Hajek´s son, who refused to attend the awarding ceremony in protest against Zeman´s actions, disrespectful, his spokeswoman told CTK.
Zeman´s spokeswoman Hana Burianova said Jan Hajek asked the president to send the decoration by post or by a messenger service in a phone call with Presidential Office protocol head Jindrich Forejt.
Hajek junior showed disrespect for the decoration and further steps leading towards the awarding of his late father were therefore halted, she said.
Hajek Jr told Revolver Revue server on Thursday that he decided not to participate in the prize-awarding ceremony at the Prague Castle on October 28, a national holiday, due to President Zeman's present activities.
"Milos Zeman does his utmost to ridicule or double-cross the competing political forces and his personal opponents. He uses dirty tricks, intrigues and lies," Hajek Jr said.
He expressed surprise that the decoration seemed to be given based on the family member´s willingness to attend the ceremony rather than on the merits of the deceased person.
Burianova said Hajek Jr at first welcomed Zeman´s intention to decorate his father, but later he changed his mind.
Jiri Hajek (1913-1993) was a Czechoslovak politician. In late 1968 he as Czechoslovak foreign minister protested against the Soviet occupation of his country in the United Nations Security Council and he was stripped of his political posts and expelled from the Communist Party as a result. He was one of the first three spokesmen of the Charter 77 human rights manifesto in 1977, along with playwright and later president Vaclav Havel and philosopher Jan Patocka.
Rock singer and musician Vladimir Misik also refused to receive the state decoration from Zeman, saying he does not agree with some of Zeman's latest steps.
Most of Czech university rectors did not attend the awarding because Zeman did not invite two of them to the ceremony because he had clashed with them earlier this year. Zeman also did not invite some former top Czech right-wing politicians.
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