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Minister Petříček discussed human rights with Nobel Prize winner Wole Soyinka
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Minister Petříček discussed human rights with Nobel Prize winner Wole Soyinka


Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček received Nigerian writer, human rights activist and first African Nobel laureate in literature, Wole Soyinka, on Friday, 9 October 2020. The main topics of their discussion were human rights and democracy. Minister Petříček also touched on the Czech Republic's long-term humanitarian engagement in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Czech Foreign Minister especially praised the writer's tireless struggle for freedom and human rights. "I was honoured to meet Mr Soyinka, a profoundly important figure in world literature," Petříček said. "During our conversation, I recalled President Václav Havel, who as a dissident, essayist and playwright has a lot in common with Wole Soyinka."

They also discussed the importance of civil society to the democratic changes in Czechoslovakia in 1989. Petříček also mentioned the Czech Republic's longstanding efforts to promote human rights and democracy in the world. "We also focused on our involvement in sub-Saharan Africa, where we try to help those who need it as effectively as possible," he added. The writer shared his view of current geopolitical developments in the world.

Soyinka, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1986, was in the Czech Republic for the Prague Writers' Festival 2020. The motto of this year's 30th anniversary festival is "We are condemned to hope". Soyinka also attended the opening ceremony on Thursday. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the entire multi-day programme of the festival is available for streaming online.