Written Answers. - Suppression in Czechoslovakia.

27.

asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if the Government have made any protest to the Czech Government about the brutal suppression of protests against the Communist regime in that country.

The actions of the Czech authorities in dealing with people wishing to assert their human rights have caused grave concern to the Government. We have raised with the Czech authorities the human rights situation there and their treatment of dissidents, including Vaclav Havel, on a number of occasions, both bilaterally and, under the human dimension provisions of the CSCE, along with our partners in the Twelve.

We welcome the fact that Mr. Havel has now been released, although we regret that he has had to spend so long in prison solely for seeking to exercise his basic human rights. We also regret that the human rights situation in Czechoslovakia continues to be unsatisfactory, and that a number of dissidents remain in prison.