Courageous pensioner, Roma from Moldava and victims of totalitarian regime awarded for courage

White Crow awards were handed out on the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution.

White Crows 2019White Crows 2019 (Source: SITA)

They fought against totalitarian regimes, police brutality and land fraud. Four people were awarded for their courage with the Biela Vrana (White Crow) on November 17.

"With a symbolic feather, we have informally thanked the individuals and civic initiatives who, during the key milestones of our young democracy, stood consistently on the side of the law and public interest, and thus prevented our country from slipping back down to unfreedom," said White Crow award Council member Zuzana Wienk.

This year, the laureates are:

Related story:Al-Jazeera film focuses on abused Roma man's quest to become a teacher Read more 

Mária Sisáková, a pensioner from the village of Zbudza village near Michalovce. She pointed out suspicious transfers of lands that her neighbours lost.

Milan Igor Hudák, one of Romas who were beaten during the police raid in the settlement in Moldava nad Bodvou in June 2013. When he testified against policemen, he shortly became indicted due to false testimony.

Branislav Tvarožek, who is almost 94 years old. He fought in the 1944 anti-Nazi uprising during WWII. When he was a student, he printed leaflets against Hitler, Tiso and the deportations. He used oil paint to cover swastikas and later participated in the anti-Nazi uprising. He was imprisoned by the Slovak State and later by the communist regime.

Eduard Marek, 102, who fought in the Prague uprising. He is the oldest Scout in Czechoslovakia. Both totalitarian regimes imprisoned him - the Nazis because he helped the Jews and the communists because he helped the persecuted escape. He still believes in scout ideals.

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