The Anti-Corruption Endowment Prizes for Courage awarded for the ninth time

9. 12. 2019

On International Anti-Corruption Day each year, the Anti-Corruption Endowment (NFPK) recognises with Prizes for Courage figures who are unafraid to call out instances of corruption or possible clientelism. The prizewinners for 2019 are Hana Naiclerová and the associations Za krásnou Olomouc z.s. and Vimpersko z.s. The Endowment has awarded them grants of 2122 Kč, 122 x 212 Kč and 124 Kč, or 44,944 Kč, 30,528 Kč and 20,736 Kč, respectively.

‘This year we have awarded Prizes for Courage to courageous people who were and are not afraid to point out corrupt behaviour or clientelism. Interestingly, this year women make up the majority of the winners, while in the past they were always in a minority among the winners. We have recognised two associations, whose stories show that civil society is becoming increasingly active. People are not afraid to come together and draw attention to problems that trouble them, not just in large cities but also in the regions. I believe such civic activities make an essential contribution to positive social change,’ said Karel Janeček, the founder of the Anti-Corruption Endowment, at the prize-giving ceremony today.

Hana Naiclerová is an opposition councillor in the city of Prostějov. Among the issues that interest her is the management of the city-owned firm, Dřevo Prostějov (Prostějov Timber), and the subsidies awarded to the youth ice hockey club Jestřábi Prostějov, the former boss of which is facing criminal charges. Hana Naiclerová has sought to rectify unlawful acts by the local government both as a councillor and by demanding from public authorities their positions on the issues, as well as by making submissions concerned with concrete unlawful actions. In response, offenders have vandalised her property. Thanks to her activities, Hana Naiclerová faces continuous attacks from the ruling coalition on the Prostějov city council, which uses the largest circulation local newspaper, Prostějovský Večerník, to portray her as an informer. This is an effort to silence her, by exerting psychological pressure on her and her family and friends.

Za krásnou Olomouc z.s. is an association that has been active in the Olomouc region since 2007. In recent years, the association has opposed the plan to construct a high-rise building, Šantovka Tower, in the protection zone of an urban conservation area. The developer is SMC Development a.s., led by Richard Morávek. In the past, this businessman has served as the right-hand man of controversial entrepreneurs such as František Mrázek and Tomáš Pitr, and he uses his clientelistic links in the region and beyond; in this instance, to push through this controversial development.

Vimpersko z.s. is a shining example of how to involve the local population in civil society. Vimpersko’s most conspicuous actions include efforts to preserve a local forest park and thus to prevent the construction of biathlon sporting grounds ‘na Vodníku’, which are being championed by an influential local businessman.

The Anticorruption Endowment is the fully independent initiative of a group of people who are fundamentally opposed to the high incidence of corruption in public administration. Our objectives include uncovering corruption in public life and supporting projects that are involved in revealing corruption.

The Endowment has awarded its Prizes for Courage regularly since its foundation in 2011. Prizewinners from recent years include Miloslava Pošvářová, ROMEA and Vladimír Sitta, Jr. Please visit the website http://www.nfpk.cz/en/whistleblowers to find out more about our courageous winners.

Contact: Karel Škácha, NFPK director, tel.: +420 602 681 513, e-mail: karel.skacha@nfpk.cz