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Czechoslovak Press Collects Award - 22 Years After Given

April 8, 1991

PARIS (AP) _ The Czechoslovak press accepted the Golden Pen of Freedom award from the International Federation of Newspaper Publishers on Monday - 22 years after it was given.

The federation symbolically awarded the Golden Pen of Freedom to the Eastern European country’s press to protest the stiff censorhip imposed after Soviet tanks crushed the Prague Spring.

Accepting the award for Czechoslovakia’s press was its foreign minister, Jiri Dienstbier, a former journalist who lost his job in the Communist crackdown following the brief reform period. Dienstbier served jail time and stoked coal in a factory before helping lead the 1989 popular uprising that ousted the Communist government.

The Paris-based federation announced the Prague ceremony in a communique and said it came as part of a weeklong training program for Czechoslovak newspaper executives.

The federation is composed of publishing associations, individual newspaper publishers and national and international news agencies in 47 countries with a world membership of 15,000 newspapers.

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