The Info List - Charter 77

Charter 77
Charter 77
(Charta 77 in Czech and in Slovak) was an informal civic initiative in the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic
Czechoslovak Socialist Republic
from 1976 to 1992, named after the document Charter 77
Charter 77
from January 1977. Founding members and architects were Jiří Němec, Václav Benda, Ladislav Hejdánek, Václav Havel, Jan Patočka, Zdeněk Mlynář, Jiří Hájek, Martin Palouš, Pavel Kohout
Pavel Kohout
and Ladislav Lis. Spreading the text of the document was considered a political crime by the communist regime.[1] After the 1989 Velvet Revolution, many of its members played important roles in Czech and Slovak politics.


1 Founding and political aims 2 Reaction of the government 3 Influence 4 Signatories (selection) 5 Award 6 See also 7 References 8 External links

Founding and political aims[edit] Eastern Bloc Soviet Socialist Republics Armenia Azerbaijan Byelorussia Estonia Georgia Kazakhstan Kirghizia Latvia Lithuania Moldavia Russia Tajikistan Turkmenia Ukraine Uzbekistan

Allied states Afghanistan Albania Angola Benin Bulgaria China Congo Cuba Czechoslovakia East Germany Ethiopia Grenada Hungary Kampuchea Laos Mongolia Mozambique North Korea Poland Romania Somalia South Yemen Vietnam Yugoslavia

Related organizations Cominform Comecon Warsaw Pact World Federation of Trade Unions World Federation of Democratic Youth

Dissent and opposition Anti-Soviet partisans Albania Bulgaria Croatia Estonia Latvia Lithuania Poland Romania Serbia Ukraine

Guerrilla war in the Baltic states Forest Brothers Operation Jungle Soviet occupation

Protests and uprisings Plzeň 1953 East Germany
East Germany
1953 Georgia 1956 Poznań 1956 Hungary 1956 Novocherkassk 1962 Czechoslovakia 1968 Invasion Red Square 1968

Charter 77
Charter 77
(Czechoslovakia) Solidarity (Poland) Jeltoqsan
(Kazakhstan) Braşov rebellion (Romania) January Events (Lithuania) The Barricades
The Barricades
(Latvia) April 9 tragedy
April 9 tragedy
(Georgia) Black January
Black January

Cold War events Marshall Plan Czechoslovak coup Tito–Stalin split Berlin Blockade Korean War Secret Speech Sino-Soviet Split Berlin Wall Cuban Missile Crisis Vietnam
War Cuban intervention in Angola Afghan War Moscow Olympics

Decline Singing Revolution Polish Round Table Agreement Revolutions of 1989 Fall of the Berlin Wall January Events in Latvia Breakup of Yugoslavia Yugoslav Wars End of the Soviet Union Fall of communism in Albania Dissolution of Czechoslovakia vte Motivated in part by the arrest of members of the psychedelic band Plastic People of the Universe, the text of Charter 77
Charter 77
was prepared in 1976. In December 1976, the first signatures were collected.[2] The charter was published on 6 January 1977, along with the names of the first 242 signatories, which represented various occupations, political viewpoints, and religions. Although Václav Havel, Ludvík Vaculík
Ludvík Vaculík
and Pavel Landovský
Pavel Landovský
were detained while trying to bring the charter to the Federal Assembly and the Czechoslovak government, and the original document was confiscated,[3] copies circulated as samizdat and on 7 January were published in several western newspapers (including Le Monde, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, The Times
The Times
and The New York Times) and transmitted to Czechoslovakia by Czechoslovak-banned radio broadcasters like Radio Free Europe
Radio Free Europe
and Voice of America. Charter 77
Charter 77
criticized the government for failing to implement human rights provisions of a number of documents it had signed, including the 1960 Constitution of Czechoslovakia, the Final Act of the 1975 Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe
Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe
(Basket III of the Helsinki Accords), and 1966 United Nations
United Nations
covenants on political, civil, economic, and cultural rights.[4]:209–212 The document also described the signatories as a "loose, informal, and open association of people . . . united by the will to strive individually and collectively for respect for human and civil rights in our country and throughout the world." It emphasized that Charter 77 is not an organization, has no statutes or permanent organs, and "does not form the basis for any oppositional political activity." This final stipulation was a careful effort to stay within the bounds of Czechoslovak law, which made organized opposition illegal. Many of the organization's activists and members gathered on 29 March 2007 at the Orange Tree Theatre
Orange Tree Theatre
in Richmond, London, to observe the movement's 30th anniversary and to discuss the historical impact their movement generated in modern European politics.[citation needed]

Reaction of the government[edit] The government's reaction to the appearance of Charter 77
Charter 77
was harsh. The official press described the manifesto as "an anti-state, anti-socialist, and demagogic, abusive piece of writing,"[citation needed] and individual signatories were variously described as "traitors and renegades,"[citation needed] "a loyal servant and agent of imperialism,"[citation needed] "a bankrupt politician,"[citation needed] and "an international adventurer."[citation needed] As it was considered to be an illegal document, the full text of Charter 77
Charter 77
was never published in the official press. However an official group of artists and writers was mobilized into an "anti-charter" movement which included Czechoslovakia's foremost singer Karel Gott
Karel Gott
as well as prominent comedic writer Jan Werich
Jan Werich
who later claimed he had no idea of what he was doing whilst signing the anti-charter.[citation needed] Several means of retaliation were used against the signatories, including dismissal from work, denial of educational opportunities for their children, suspension of drivers' licenses, forced exile, loss of citizenship, and detention, trial, and imprisonment.[citation needed] Many members were forced to collaborate with the communist secret service (the StB, Czech: Státní bezpečnost).[citation needed] The treatment of Charter 77
Charter 77
signatories prompted the creation in April 1978 of a support group, the Committee for the Defense of the Unjustly Prosecuted (Výbor na obranu nespravedlivě stíhaných – VONS), to publicize the fate of those associated with the charter. In October 1979 six leaders of this support group, including Václav Havel, were tried for subversion and sentenced to prison terms of up to five years. Repression of Charter 77
Charter 77
and VONS members continued during the 1980s. Despite unrelenting harassment and arrests, however, the groups continued to issue reports on the government's violations of human rights. Until the Velvet Revolution, Charter 77
Charter 77
had approximately 1,900 signatories.[3]

Influence[edit] Under the dictatorship, the influence of Charter 77
Charter 77
remained limited and only 1,065 people ever signed the document.[5] It didn't reach wide groups of people and most of its members were from Prague. The majority of Czechoslovak citizens knew of the organization only because of the government's campaign against it.[6] In the late 1980s, as the Eastern Bloc
Eastern Bloc
regimes weakened, members of Charter 77
Charter 77
saw their opportunity and became more involved in organizing opposition against the regime in power. During the days of the Velvet Revolution, members of the group negotiated the smooth transfer of political power from dictatorship to democracy. Many were elevated into high positions in the government (e.g. Václav Havel became the President of Czechoslovakia) but since most had no experience in active politics (such as skills in diplomacy or knowledge of capitalism) they met with mixed success. Charter 77
Charter 77
included people who had a wide range of opinions and, after reaching their common goal, the group's presence faded. An attempt to make the group the focal point of an all-encompassing political party (the Civic Forum) failed and in 1992 the organization was officially dissolved.

Signatories (selection)[edit]

Rudolf Battěk[7] Jarmila Belikova Pavel Bergmann Vincent Cheremi Petr Chudožilov Gábor Demszky Jiří Dienstbier Anna Fárová Jiří Gruša Jiří Hanzelka Ladislav Lis Jiří Hájek Miloš Hájek[8] Václav Havel Olga Havlová Zbyněk Hejda Ladislav Hejdánek Josef Hiršal Jaroslav Hutka Vladimír Kadlec Eva Kantůrková Svatopluk Karásek Alexandr Kliment Vladimír Klokočka Pavel Kohout Jiří Kolář Jaroslav Kořán[9] Florin Kovach František Kriegel Marta Kubišová Rudolf Kučera[10] Vaclav Lamser Tomas Laslo Miroslav Lehký Milan Machovec Václav Malý Ivan Mašek[11] Stanislav Milota[12] Zdeněk Mlynář Otmar Oliva Milan Otáhal Eduard Ovčáček Martin Palouš Jan Patočka Jan Petránek[13] Petr Pithart Hana Ponická Karol Sidon Jaroslav Šabata[14] Anna Šabatová Vojtěch Sedláček Jaroslav Seifert Gertruda Sekaninová-Čakrtová Jiřina Šiklová Oldřich Škácha Dominik Tatarka Milan Uhde Petr Uhl Ludvík Vaculík Jiří Wolf[15]

Award[edit] In 1984 Charter 77
Charter 77
was awarded the first Andrei Sakharov Freedom Award.[16]

See also[edit] Charter 88 – a British movement inspired in part by Charter 77. Charter 97
Charter 97
– a Belarusian movement inspired in part by Charter 77. Charter 08
Charter 08
– a Chinese movement inspired in part by Charter 77. The Two Thousand Words References[edit]

^ Blažek, Petr (2006). "Stanovisko generálního prokurátora ČSSR, předsedy Nejvyššího soudu ČSSR, ministra spravedlnosti ČSR a generálního prokurátora ČSR k 'Prohlášení Charty 77'" [Opinion of the Attorney General of Czechoslovakia, President of the Supreme Court of Czechoslovakia, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Czechoslovakia Czechoslovakia to the 'Declaration of Charter 77']. PWSV (in Czech). 3 (1)..mw-parser-output cite.citation font-style:inherit .mw-parser-output .citation q quotes:"""""""'""'" .mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Lock-green.svg/9px-Lock-green.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center .mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-gray-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center .mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-red-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center .mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration color:#555 .mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help .mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4c/Wikisource-logo.svg/12px-Wikisource-logo.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center .mw-parser-output code.cs1-code color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit .mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error display:none;font-size:100% .mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error font-size:100% .mw-parser-output .cs1-maint display:none;color:#33aa33;margin-left:0.3em .mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format font-size:95% .mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left padding-left:0.2em .mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right padding-right:0.2em

^ "Charta 77: TOTALITA". www.totalita.cz.

^ a b Podpisy Prohlášení Charty 77 (1977–1989) Archived 2007-01-14 at the Wayback Machine

^ Skilling, H. Gordon (1981). Charter 77
Charter 77
and human rights in Czechoslovakia. London ; Boston: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 0043210260.[page needed]

^ Hitchcock, William (2003). The Struggle for Europe: The Turbulent History of a Divided Continent, 1945 to the Present. New York: Anchor Books. p. 302. ISBN 9780385497992.

^ "Tajné služby USA sledovaly zrod Charty 77, její vliv na veřejnost (Secret services of USA observed the emergence of Charta 77 and its influence on public)". České noviny (in Czech). ČTK. 11 December 2016. Retrieved 9 January 2017.

^ "Former dissident, post-1989 politician Battěk dies". Prague Daily Monitor. 2013-03-18. Archived from the original on 2013-12-16. Retrieved 2013-03-20.

^ "Historian, former Charter 77
Charter 77
spokesman Milos Hajek dies". Prague Daily Monitor. 2016-02-25. Retrieved 2016-03-17.

^ "Zemřel Jaroslav Kořán, překladatel a první polistopadový primátor Prahy". Czech News Agency. Aktuálně.cz. 2017-06-02. Retrieved 2017-06-27.

^ Zemřel doc. PhDr. R. Kučera, CSc. (10. 4. 1947 - 15. 1. 2019) ‹See Tfd›(in Czech)

^ Zemřel bývalý poslanec a signatář Charty 77 Ivan Mašek, bylo mu 70 let ‹See Tfd›(in Czech)

^ "Ve věku 85 let zemřel kameraman Stanislav Milota
Stanislav Milota
- ČeskéNoviny.cz". www.ceskenoviny.cz.

^ "Zemřel komentátor Jan Petránek. Vysílal během okupace v srpnu 68". iDNES.cz. 11 November 2018.

^ "Former dissident Jaroslav Šabata dies aged 84". Prague Monitor. 2012-06-15. Archived from the original on 2013-12-16. Retrieved 2012-07-07.

^ "Havel uzavřel smlouvu s komunisty, říká bývalý politický vězeň". Mladá fronta DNES
Mladá fronta DNES
(in Czech). iDNES. 21 August 2007. Retrieved 18 November 2012.

^ "Sakharov Freedom Award". Archived from the original on 2018-05-11. Retrieved 2014-10-06.

External links[edit] Text of the Charter

has original text related to this article: Text of Charter 77
Charter 77
at Wikisource

has original text related to this article: Text of Charter 77
Charter 77
at Wikisource

‹See Tfd›(in Czech) Text of the declaration of Charter 77 ‹See Tfd›(in Czech) Text and signatures of the declaration of Charter 77
Charter 77
(scanned originals) at Libri Prohibiti. Library of Samizdat and Exile Literature ‹See Tfd›(in English) Text of Charter 77, in: Czechoslovakia (Former), Library of Congress
Library of Congress
Country Studies ‹See Tfd›(in English) Declaration of Charter 77, translation, George Mason University Further reading

Dissent and Independent Activity, in: Czechoslovakia (Former), Library of Congress Country Studies vte Andrei Sakharov Freedom Award laureates Charta 77 (1984) Kovalev (1996) Musaeva (2002) Mašović (2002) Bialiatski (2006) Gannushkina (2007) Zhovtis (2010) Shibanova (2012) Aliyev / Jafarov / Mammadli / Yunusova (2014) Novaya Gazeta / Committee for the Prevention of Torture (2017)

Authority control BNF: cb12208238z (data) GND: 4147599-9 LCCN: n86846166 NKC: kn20021107001 VIAF: 188490056 WorldCat Identities
WorldCat Identities