Former Czech Communist apparatchik Stepan dies


23.03.2014 15:35

Prague - Former Czech pre-1989 Communist senior official Miroslav Stepan died after a short serious disease aged 68 today, a source close to his family has confirmed to CTK.


Ve věku nedožitých 69 let zemřel 23. března bývalý člen ÚV KSČ Miroslav Štěpán (na snímku ze 14. listopadu 2013 je při křtu svojí knihy "Můj život v sametu aneb zrada přišla z Kremlu"). ČTK Doležal Michal

Stepan became a member of the Czechoslovak Communist Party (KSC) Central Committee and its presidium in 1988 and he also headed the Prague KSC committee. He was also a Communist MP for 13 years.

During the Velvet Revolution in November 1989, which triggered the collapse of the previous regime, he became ill-famed for his speech at the CKD factory in Prague in which he called the anti- communist demonstrators "kids." The outraged workers booed him.

Stepan was forced to resign from the high posts in the KSC at the end of November 1989 and he gave up his MP´s mandate in early December.

Stepan is one of the three former KSC senior officials who have been convicted since the fall of the communist regime in the former Czechoslovakia.

In 1990, Stepan was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for abuse of power by having ordered to use water cannons and tear gas against peaceful demonstrators in October 1988. He was released on probation after serving a half of his sentence.

Stepan was involved politics even afterwards but he broke up with the post-1989 Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSCM).

He established his own communist party and was running for the Senate, the upper house of parliament, unsuccessfully.

He also tried to run business and published his memoirs, My Life in Velvet, subtitled "a confession of the Velvet Revolution´s prisoner."

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