Lecture in language
Journalist, translator, and ex-dissident
„We all hope that we would do the right thing in an extreme situation - but none of us can be sure about it, until he gets through such a situation.“
During Communism, she actively opposed the regime and was imprisoned. She signed the Charter 77 Declaration, and in 1985 she became its spokesperson. Since 1990 she has been working as a journalist and translator. In 2009 she received the Ferdinand Peroutka Journalist Award.
Petruška was persecuted for her activities in opposition to the Communist regime: she was expelled from her studies at Charles University and sentenced to a two-year imprisonment for her involvement
Petruška was persecuted for her activities in opposition to the Communist regime: she was expelled from her studies at Charles University and sentenced to a two-year imprisonment for her involvement with the Movement of the Revolutionary Youth (1969-1971). After being released, the regime allowed her to work at the post office; she was not allowed to finish her studies of Czech language and history at Charles University. She worked as a translator and copied texts for samizdat. During that time she became the mother of five children.
In December 1976, she was among the first people to sign the Charter 77 Declaration. In 1979 Petruška became a member of the Committee for the Defense of Unjustly Prosecuted; specifically, she was engaged in and led the committee fighting for the release of Stanislav Devátý and Ivan Martin Jirous. In 1985-1986 she acted as a spokeswoman for Charter 77. Since 1987 she has worked with the editorial office of the samizdat magazine „Central Europe“.
During the period 1990-1992 she worked as a Deputy of the Federal Minister of the Interior (she participated in the screening of staff of the Ministry of Interior, Intelligence, and Justice, she also collaborated in creating of lustration law). In October 2008, the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic elected her as a member of the Council of the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes.
As a journalist, she first contributed to the Nezávislý tiskový deník in 1989, then to the newly established magazine Respekt. She has also written for Český deník (later in a weekly magazine) and since 1997 she has been a regular contributor to Lidové noviny which also cooperates with Czech TV. In 2010 she received the Ferdinand Peroutka Journalist Award. She has been awarded not only for her long-time journalistic activity but for her tireless struggle for the preservation of democracy and humanity above all.