U.S Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty And Its Host Country Czech Repub



Human Rights

(Prague, September 9, 2009) As reported by Information Centre CAUCASUS
– EASTERN EUROPE (ICCEE), Czech Republic, claims in her Application
submitted to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg Snjezana
Pelivan, Croatian citizen permanently residing in Prague since 1995,
failed to safeguard her rights to national equality and fair trial
guaranteed by European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights
and Fundamental Freedoms. Ruling by Czech Constitutional Court in her
case against RFE/RL she characterizes as "legal nonsense unacceptable
in member state to the European Convention".

Mrs. Pelivan was employed as marketing manager by American Radio Free
Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL). After several years of impeccable
work with highly positive performance reviews, her employment was
terminated in June, 2005, without any reason stated orally or in
writing, any prior warning or previous disciplinary measures, and
without severance payment because she refused to agree in writing
with her dismissal and, also in writing, give up her right of appeal.

U.S. Congress via Federal Agency Board of Broadcasting Governors
(BBG) fully finances RFE/RL. Hillary Clinton as the Secretary of
State is also a member of BBG and RFE/RL’s Board of Directors. RFE/RL,
which broadcasts in 28 languages to 21 countries, employs in Prague
several hundred foreign nationals — predominantly citizens of the
former Soviet Union, former Yugoslavia, Romania, Iraq, Iran, and
Afghanistan. All of them have in Czech Republic standard employment
agreements prepared by RFE/RL, which are, quasi,

"governed by the applicable laws of the United States, the laws of
the District of Columbia or the policies of the Company".

However, totally unknown to them American laws explicitly are
not applicable to foreigners work r RFE/RL, an American employer
outside the United States; accordingly, U.S. courts are off limits
to them. U.S. laws are applicable only to RFE/RL American employees
who are also entitled to legal protection by American courts. Strict
Czech labor laws, at the insistence of national trade unions, protect
Czech employees of RFE/RL. Its foreign employees are subject only to
the arbitrary changeable "policies of the Company", which RFE/RL does
not present or explain to foreigners during hiring procedure.

Policies of the Company contained in RFE/RL Policy Manual stipulate

"RFE/RL’s relationship with its employees is governed by an
’employment-at-will’ philosophy. This means that either party may
terminate an agreement at any time for any reason".

It means also without any reason, as was dismissed Snjezana Pelivan
and the score of other foreign specialists hired by RFE/RL in Prague
on identically deceptive employment agreements.

Czech Constitutional Court did not find discriminative work contracts
given to foreigners by RFE/RL, to be in violation of the Czech legal,
social or state order. It also did not find RFE/RL deceptive hiring
methods to violate the imperative of "good morals" prescribed by
Czech civil and labor legislation. Moreover, it surprisingly decided
that Mrs. Pelivan, despite her permanent statements to the contrary,
has signed knowingly, willingly and by her own consent, an employment
agreement, which, as admitted by the same court, gives her lesser
protection in Czech Republic than protection provided by Czech labor

In her charge of discrimination submitted to the European Court of
Human Rights, Mrs. Pelivan writes:

"The consequence of the Ruling by the Czech Constitutional Court
for hundreds of foreign employees of RFE/RL is creation of legal
vacuum. While they were excluded by statutory American legislation
from protection in U.S. courts, despite that their work contracts are
governed on paper by U.S. laws, now they are also deprived of effective
legal remedy in the Czec c — precisely because their contracts are
governed on paper only by U.S. laws (…) Void of logic court Ruling
empowers American management of RFE/RL to practice uninhibitedly in
Czech Republic unmotivated arbitrary terminations of its foreign
employees, without need to justify such actions in any courts of
law. With this Ruling, for RFE/RL foreign personnel the right to
effective court protection became a legal fiction."

In Munich where RFE/RL had its headquarters prior to relocation to
Prague in 1995, all its personnel, regardless of citizenship, were
covered by protective to employees German labor laws. Presently, RFE/RL
has 19 foreign bureaus employing there local citizens. Only in Czech
Republic, RFE/RL uses hidden in its Policy Manual "employment-at-will
philosophy" contradicting Czech labor laws, i.e. Czech legislative
sovereignty. Is it dictated by some mysterious political arrangement
reflected in a special treatment RFE/RL has in Czech Republic: American
employees of RFE/RL, officially registered as private corporation,
are relieved of Czech taxes as performing governmental duties; over 14
years RFE/RL used the building of former national Parliament in Prague
paying 1 Czech crown per month; on May 16, 2006, Czech foreign minister
handed in Washington to American government a check of 27 million
crowns to finance relocation of RFE/RL into the new building in Prague?

Mrs. Pelivan raised that relevant question on March 10th, 2009, in her,
additional to the main Constitutional Claim of March 4th, Motion to
Call the Witness. The witness suggested was Hillary Clinton. She was
expected to visit Prague the beginning of April (she did) and could
clarify to the Czech Constitutional Court whether

"discriminative to foreigners employment policies of RFE/RL in the
Czech Republic are dictated by the ‘broad foreign policies objectives
of the United States’ ",

as prescribed by the "U.S. International Broadcasting Act of
1994". On March 11, 2009, Czech news agency CTK and major Czech
newspapers reported Mrs. Pelivan’s request to call Hillary Clinton as a
witness. As soon as March 16th, the Constitutional Court, notorious for
its usual sluggishness, rejected Pelivan’s main Constitutional Claim
of March 4th, without even mentioning her Motion to invite Hillary
Clinton. Such unmotivated court decisions, claims Snjezana Pelivan,
violate the principle of fair trial as was time and again stressed
by the European Court of Human Rights.

Recently, Snjezana Pelivan and Anna Karapetian, an Armenian journalist
also suing RFE/RL for wrongful unmotivated termination (her case is
still pending in Czech Supreme Court), have petitioned U.S. Attorney
General Eric H. Holder to open criminal investigation into RFE/RL
fraudulent employment practices in Czech Republic. In particular,
they noted that real actions of RFE/RL financed by U.S. taxpayers
money as a tool of American public diplomacy, make a mockery of its
Mission Statement:

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