Dana Němcová was one of the first signatories to Charter 77, later she became its spokesperson and co-founded the Committee for the Defense of Unjustly Accused Persons. He continued to protect human rights even after 1989. One of Czechoslovakia’s most prominent dissident figures died at the age of 89. Vojtěch Sedláček, chairman of the board of directors of the Goodwill Committee – Olga Havlova Foundation, said this on behalf of the family.
Němcová was one of the first signatories and later became the spokesperson for Charter 77. A year after the charter’s establishment, he co-founded the Committee for Defense of Unjustly Charged (VONS), an organization that assists victims of communist injustice. Němcová and her husband organized support for members of the band The Plastic People of the Universe who were arrested during trials for anti-regime oriented personalities.
The committee helped find lawyers and defenders for the defendants, and from them obtained accurate information about the trial process, which was then disseminated abroad. Later, Němcová himself was put on trial. In 1979, he was arrested and sentenced to two years for republican subversion during a committee trial.
Němcová, a mother of seven children and a trained psychologist, faced constant intimidation, abuse, interrogation and house searches for her views under the previous regime. She is only allowed to work as a cleaner and housekeeper. During Palach Week, in January 1989, Němcová was arrested again when he went to lay flowers at the St. Basil’s monument. Wenceslas as spokesman for Charter 77.
After the 1989 revolution, Němcová briefly served as a member of the Federal Assembly, but continued to defend human rights and help the weak and powerless. Together with Olga Havelová, she was part of the Goodwill Committee from the start, which still helps the disabled, abandoned children, the elderly and the sick. In 1992, he founded the Counseling Center for Refugees. Six years later, he received a state award – the Medal of Merit.
“Dana Němcová, a woman with a full and free life, passed away today in the morning. At 89 years old, full of her days, as it is written. Honest, brave, always ready for good things and brave with her heart and two hands without hesitation. How many people could rely on him and in such a difficult situation,” recalls Vojtěch Sedláček, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Goodwill Committee – Olga Havlova Foundation, who has known Němcová since 1970.
When Němcová later explained why he went to war against the communist regime, he claimed that he was doing it primarily for the sake of his children. “So that they don’t have to be ashamed of me, so that they have the opportunity to live in a different time, so that they know that they have dignity and that they have to stand up for something,” he explained.
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