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The World

Czechoslovak police rounded up at least a dozen prominent dissidents in Prague, the capital, as Communist authorities for the first time celebrated the nation’s independence in 1918. Dissident sources said that among those detained were members of the Charter 77 human rights movement as well as playwright Vaclav Havel and Roman Catholic activist Vaclav Benda. Although the anniversary of independence actually falls on Oct. 28, officials decided to hold the celebrations early and banned a planned independent rally. Dissident sources said the detentions were aimed at preventing that rally. Later in the day, at a ceremony at Hradcany Castle, President Gustav Husak officially recognized the contribution of Thomas Garrigue Masaryk, founder of Czechoslovak independence.


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