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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Czech Charter Feted

PRAGUE -- Former Czech dissidents marked the 20th anniversary Friday of their Charter 77 human rights movement, a landmark in Eastern Europe's battle against communism that later propelled co-founder Vaclav Havel and others to power.

Havel -- the group's most famous figure -- was missing the day-long celebrations because he is still recovering from surgery for lung cancer.

In January 1977, Havel, the philosopher Jan Patocka and an assorted group of liberal writers, Roman Catholic intellectuals and communist reformers, published the charter, a document challenging communist rulers to adhere to international human rights commitments.