Daniel Herman was one of the most important members of the government, Bohusl Sobotka. Now, politics is coming back a little bit, Government of the Government of Andrej Babis confirmed on Monday as a new member of the government's Human Rights Council. It will replace the dissident and academician Daniel Kroupo, who left the new government human rights commissioner Helena Válková (ANO) because of the communist past. In an interview with Aktualne.cz Herman explains why this chapter in Valk's life does not matter to him what kind of relationship he has with the Prime Minister and what he intends to do in the Council.
You filled the vacancy in the government's Human Rights Council after the former dissident and university teacher Daniel Kroup, who left the world for Helena Válková. Did you notice the circumstances of his departure?
I read something when he withdrew that he did not want to work in the world. That's all. For me, a clear person is for Professor Válkove. We have known each other for many years, we know her opinions and I like to work with her.
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Daniel Kroupa said that he could not sit in the world next to the Commissioner for Human Rights, who was a member of the Communist Party. Have you thought about this argument?
He thought. I know the professor, she told me all her personal history. Membership in the Communist Party does not adorn the curriculum vitae. On the other hand, I know a lot of people who were in the Communist Party who managed to say goodbye to this mistake and openly discuss this. Professor is one of these people. I'm convinced an anti-Communist. On the other hand, I understand people who, for some reason, were subjected to pressures that were at that time. Therefore, the story about a particular person must be well known, so that others can comment on it. And in the case of a professor, I appreciate the openness she has told me about her motives.
Mr Kroupa also said that Helena Válková did not systematically pursue the human rights agenda and therefore has nothing to do with it. What do you think of his argumentation?
It is not true that she did not deal with this. On the contrary, as the Minister of Justice, she carefully examined a number of cases in order not to reduce human rights, in this case closed. Here I give an example of Mr Nečesaný (Lukas Nečesaný was sitting in prison for attempted murder, which made the judge clean it for several years.), in which there were very many questions and the courts finally decided in his favor.
With a little exaggeration we can say that Mrs Válková publicly accepted most of the Prime Minister Andrej Babysh, when she explained her cases and defended her in the media. What do you think of this installation?
Since I am a member of the KDU-ČSL, the professor is a member of the DA. The result of this is the moment of political decision-making. He needs to know why he is doing what he is doing. That's all.
Have you had the opportunity to speak with Daniel Kroupo in person to discuss the reasons for his departure from the committee or to discuss your future membership in the board?
No, I have not met Daniel Kroupe for a long time.
I never threatened
Former Prime Minister Andrej Babis is the leader of the Council, which stems from his presidential position. The last months were in a difficult period. The prosecutor is considering filing an indictment on him In the event of any possible fraud in subsidizing the construction of the Stork's Nest farm, almost 300,000 people protested in the previous year and in accordance with the European Commission's proposal for a conflict of interest. Do you have an overview of these examples?
I'm looking at these things from the media, I do not have any more information. We can not take them easily, they are serious. I expect that decisions will be taken on these matters. I can not say more about this because I do not know anything more.
Former spokesman for bishops, administrators and historians
Daniel Herman (* 1963) is a Catholic priest who is a Catholic priest, near the Church. From 1996 to 2006 he was a representative of the Czech Bishop's Conference. Between 2010 and 2013 he led the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes.
He joined the active politics in his last parliamentary term when he was a member of the KDU-CSL and Minister of Culture. From May 2017 to March 2019 he was Vice President of the party.
At the last Senate election he stood for the Chrudim area and came into the second round. He did not become a senator, he lost himself from Jan Tecl.
Were you wondering about these problems of Prime Minister Babis, is it good to connect your name with the government that is leading it?
I have never endangered my conscience, because I have many enemies, especially among Communists or direct ones, where I have very strong criticisms. Being a member of the Government's Human Rights Council means integrating into the Human Rights Agenda, which I have been dealing with for many years. And for me, it is essential if I can continue with the blessing of the government in this field. Since it has such a mandate, its possibilities are more pronounced.
So, the examples of Prime Minister Babis did not discourage you from engaging in the work of the Council of Governments, which formally led him?
In this case, it is mainly about cooperation with professor Válková, whom I know. Although such committees are headed by the Prime Minister, the formal Prime Minister, in this case, the main powers of the Government and the other members of the Council are the main function. This site is formal, the other is practical. And that does not apply.
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You and Andrej Babis were colleagues in the coalition government CSSD, YES and KDU-CSL. As Minister of Finance, you as Minister of Culture. Outside, you act like a couple who understands. Was it?
When I was a member of the coalition government, our cooperation was very constructive. In the end, resolving the problem of the former concentration camp in Lety would not be possible without cooperation with the then Minister of Finance. Like to visit the Dalai Lama (Herman met him with the Minister of Culture.)At that time, Andrej Babis was the first high-ranking politician to take his stand for me. As the Minister of Finance, he said that I can not harm Chinese investments because they are not. Today, I meet with the Prime Minister at various social events at the embassies.
Would you describe your relationship with Andrew Babysh as a warm one?
Warm is a strong word, I would not use it. But they're definitely not cold. It was a very good cooperation with him, which made many things in the field of culture. We raised salaries in the resort by 35 percent.
Find the route between the Roma and the majority society
Are you a new member of the Human Rights Council, what do you want to contribute to his work?
Human rights have been a topic I have been dealing with for many years. In my opinion, my appointment is an evaluation of my activities by the government. It is based on the proposal of Professor Válkova, whom I have known for many years. We were government colleagues. We went through some trips to prisons when she asked me to follow her. In some cases where their reopening was discussed, as was the case of Mr Nečesaný, she asked me to talk to these people and tell her my impressions. In my opinion, it was linked to the fact that I worked for years in the service of the Catholic Church and as a confessor who had experience in dealing with people.
This also includes the issue of the former concentration camp in Lety, which was solved by the removal of the pig farm. I have long-term contacts with the spiritual movement of Falun Gong in China, which was brutally prosecuted by the Communist government, which also persecutes Chinese Christians. You also know that I have been involved in the Czech-German dialogue for years. It creates a mosaic of my activities.
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I now ask you more about the agenda you will be working on in the future as a member of the Council of the Council.
The Roma issue is still present because it is very complicated. Then we have the protection of the rights of people at risk of poverty, social exclusion or the issue of age discrimination, while older people are often neglected. In addition, I want to focus on monitoring the international human rights obligations of the Czech Republic, because we must not lose our human rights agenda from our foreign policy. This is absolutely necessary. Therefore, I am also proud to show that they are not kneeling in front of Beijing and are afraid to accept the Tibetan Dalai Lama.
If you would like to be precise about how you would like to contribute to resolving the Roma issue that you mentioned?
I am in contact with the Museum of Roma Culture in Brno, I regularly participate in some of his programs. It is a top-level organization, unique in Europe. It also deals with the education of children. I am in contact with the Roma Compensation Committee of the Holocaust, which also deals with education. I want to inform the majority society about the fact that 90% of Czech and Moravian Roma were murdered by the Nazis.
You came to the Ministry of Culture in the autumn of 2017, because you have seen less of the public. What have you been doing since then?
I am self-employed, so I worked before joining the government or the Chamber of Deputies. I focus mainly on teaching and counseling activities.
If I can ask who advises you?
With the Prince of Liechtenstein, I am very in touch because this is a great cultural heritage, especially in South Moravia. Am I the president of the Ackermann-Gemeinde Association, all about joint activities that build bridges and bring countries closer together.
It's been over two months since your appointment in the government, what the cabinet approved this Monday. Have you been nervous?
Not at all. We are friends with Professor Válková, we have known each other for many years, working together. She treated me, I agreed. So what is the official procedure, I do not know. I did not watch it, I did not do it.