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František Bednár (1957) - Biography

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It is enough for the triumph of evil, when others do nothing

František Bednár was born on February 15, 1957 in Poprad and yet from his early childhood he negatively perceived the ruling communist regime. As a youngster he experienced the normalization era in 1970s. He didn´t finish his high school studies also because of the pressure to learn Russian language and enter the Socialist Youth Union. Therefore he gained the professional qualification of an electrician and later on worked as a boilerman and serviceman. He regularly listened to the Radio Free Europe; its broadcasting significantly influenced his life. Along with three friends of common opinion František founded an armed group in Poprad to actively put up resistance to the communist regime. In 1983 he traveled to the former Yugoslavia to get in touch with the West through Radio Free Europe. As a proof of loyalty, their group sent a package with electronic detonator to the former leading secretary of the Party in Poprad. In 1984 by to the fault of one of the group's members, remains of the detonator were found, what caused František Bednár's arrest by the ŠtB on February 6, 1984. For illegal anti-state activity he was sentenced to 14 years of imprisonment. He experienced strict regime in Leopoldov as well as in Ilava prison. Almost two months before the Velvet Revolution, the Bratislava Regional Court sentenced him to further five and half years for the case of sabotage preparations, which was fabricated by the State Security. After November 1989 was this sentence as well as the previous one from 1984 cancelled and František was left with the remaining sentence of 24 months for unauthorized arming and general danger. He was released from prison on August 15, 1990. He gradually became active in Confederation of Political Prisoners of Slovakia and in the World Association of Former Political Prisoners of Czechoslovakia.

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