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Czech Senate Awards Fistein Silver Medal

Jefim Fistein, 2014.
Jefim Fistein, 2014.

Jefim Fistein, a former director of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's (RFE/RL) Russian Service, was awarded a commemorative silver medal by the Czech Senate at the Waldstein Palace in Prague. The award ceremony was timed to coincide with the day of Czech statehood, a holiday celebrated on September 28 in memory of St. Wenceslas. The award was given to Fistein for his contribution to professional journalism.

Fistein was born in Kyiv, Ukraine and moved to then-Communist Czechoslovakia in 1970. After authorities began persecuting him for his human rights activities, he emigrated to Austria, and then lived and worked in Germany. Fistein is a signatory of the Czech Charter 77 human rights manifesto. In the late 1990s, he was chief editor of the popular Czech newspaper, Lidové noviny.

Fistein has worked for RFE/RL since 1981. From 2009 to 2012, he served as director of the Russian Service. He is also the author of numerous articles and essays in Czech, and has published several scripts for documentary films.