Vaclav Havel

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As first published in 1851, the title of Moby-Dick has a hyphen, something since dropped by many reprints, all film versions, and now – accidentally – by me. Photograph: iStock

It seems that in writing about a certain literary masterpiece yesterday, and to the great annoyance of at least one admirer of the book, I omitted a s(...)

Oyub Titiev, the head of human rights group Memorial in Chechnya, at his verdict hearing at a court  in Chechnya. Photograph: Said Tsarnayev/Reuters

A court in the Russian republic of Chechnya sentenced an award-winning human rights defender to four years in jail on Monday on narcotics charges that(...)

Panoramic views of Prague from Petrin Hill. Photograph: iStock

With its reputation for stag and hen parties and a stop-off point for Interrailing students, I wondered if we were foolish to opt for a long weekend i(...)

Bertie Ahern, Tony Blair and Bill Clinton at a Belfast  event to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Belfast  Agreement. Photograph: Reuters/Clodagh Kilcoyne

It is one of the greatest political achievements that many of us will ever see, and there are many lessons to take from the 20th anniversary of the Be(...)

People wearing masks march across the medieval Charles Bridge to commemorate the 28th anniversary of the 1989 Velvet Revolution in Prague, Czech Republic. Photograph: David W Cerny/Reuters

Thousands of Czechs attended rallies and concerts on Friday to mark the anniversary of the 1989 Velvet Revolution that ended communist rule and to ple(...)

Presidential candidate Vaclav Havel waves to his supporters from a balcony in Prague in this December 19th, 1989 file photo. Havel, a dissident playwright who was jailed by the communists and then went on to lead the bloodless Velvet Revolution and become Czech president, died at 75 on December 18th, 2011. File photograph: Petar Kujundzic/Reuters

Tens of thousands of Czechs are expected to rally in Prague and other cities on Friday to commemorate the 1989 Velvet Revolution, and to warn that pop(...)

Students demonstrate in Barcelona against the position of the Spanish government to ban the self-determination referendum of Catalonia. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

The Parnell Monument which stands at the top of Dublin’s O’Connell Street is an almost 50m high triangular obelisk similar in prominence to the well k(...)

Candles are formed in the shape of a heart during a vigil for Chinese Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo outside China’s consulate in Sydney, Australia. Photograph: Jason Reed/ Reuters

‘Freedom of expression is the foundation of human rights, the source of humanity, and the mother of truth.” So said Liu Xiaobo in his acceptance speec(...)

Candles are formed in the shape of a heart during a vigil for  Liu Xiaobo outside China’s consulate in Sydney, Australia. Photograph: Jason Reed/Reuters

Calls have been made for Liu Xia, the wife of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, to be allowed to leave China following the dissident academic’s d(...)

President Vaclav Havel inspected troops upon his arrival at Dublin airport for a three-day visit in 1996. Photograph: Paddy Whelan

Shortly after he became president of Czechoslovakia, borne by the Velvet Revolution of 1989, the dissident playwright Václav Havel had a problem. He n(...)

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