I am a Marxist, and that is why I did not join the Communist
Journalist and human rights activist Petr Uhl was born on October 8, 1941 in Prague. His father greatly influenced him in his views, which tended towards a non-violent form of anarcho-communism or anarcho-syndicalism. Petr Uhl graduated in 1958 at the age of eleven in Londýnská Street in Vinohrady, and later studied at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the Czech Technical University. He became acquainted with various leftist currents (Trotskyism, Maoism), but remained faithful to Marxism. However, he refused to join the Communist Party in 1963, concluding that the party was not reformable from within. He became involved in the Left Opinion Movement, whose leader was Egon Bondy. At the end of 1968, he founded the Revolutionary Youth Movement in protest against incipient normalization. A year later, he was imprisoned for his activities in this movement according to the paragraph of subversion of the republic. He spent four years in prison (1969-1973). Shortly after his release, he met his future wife Anna Sabatova and married her in August 1974. In December 1976, he participated in the creation of the Charta 77 declaration and in the collection of the first signatures. In addition, in April 1978 he co-founded the Committee for the Defense of the Unjustly Prosecuted, whose mission - unlike that of Charta - was to provide concrete assistance to victims of totalitarian persecution. He was imprisoned again in 1979, this time for five and a half years. In the second half of the 1980s, he was one of the main drivers of the publication of the Charta Information bulletin (Infoch). At the end of 1988, he co-founded the Eastern European Information Agency, which provided information on the activities and persecution of the opposition in Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary and Lithuania. After the demonstration on Národní třída on November 17, 1989, he was one of those who conveyed a false report to foreign media about the death of student Martin Šmíd (of course, believing that it was a true report). He was held in custody for six days, but was released in November 1989. From February 1990, he worked as the director of the Czech News Agency, and after the 1990 elections, he also sat in the Federal Assembly as a member of the Civic Forum. From 1992, he remained in ČTK as an ordinary editor, later he wrote for Jiří Pelikán’s Letters and the daily Právo. He has served as the Government Commissioner for Human Rights and in other government positions focusing on human rights and national minorities. He resigned after the election of Anna Šabatová as Deputy Public Defender of Rights.