Ondráček Quits Parliament Job After Rallies

Prague Morning

Prague Morning

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The former Czech Communist riot police officer Zdeněk Ondráček stepped down as head of a parliamentary committee on Tuesday, following widespread criticism and rallies that have drawn several thousands of protesters.

"I resign as the head of the committee supervising the General Inspection of Security Forces" which investigates crimes committed by the police, 48-year-old Communist lawmaker Ondráček told parliament.

He cited the "security of my family and myself", following a wave of protests against his appointment, approved by lawmakers last Friday.

Thousands of Czechs rallied across the country on Monday in protest against Ondráček, who helped suppress anti-Communist demonstrations in the 1980s.

In Prague alone, the protest drew a crowd of about 7,000 people who waved banners and Czech and EU flags, and signed a petition calling for a new vote on the appointment.

Critics blame Ondráček for his role in breaking up rallies in central Prague in 1989, including the November 17 student march that was brutally suppressed by the police with hundreds of protesters injured.

He insisted last week that "we served the country, the citizens of this republic".

Author: red


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