Tributes pour in after Czech freedom fighter Havel dies

 
Julian Harris
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TRIBUTES poured in last night after the death of Václav Havel, the man who helped topple Communism in former Czechoslovakia over twenty years ago.

Dissident author Havel became President following the bloodless Velvet Revolution of 1989, and was head of state of the Czech Republic for a further decade following political separation from neighbouring Slovakia in 1993.

“His peaceful resistance shook the foundations of an empire [and] exposed the emptiness of a repressive ideology,” commented US President Barack Obama. “Havel devoted his life to the cause of human freedom,” added British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Havel died yesterday, aged 75. Crowds gathered in Prague’s Wenceslas Square to pay tribute.