Commemorations mark anniversary of Jan Palach’s self immolation
Commemorations for Czech student Jan Palach have taken place in Prague and at his birthplace near Mělník on Saturday. It was 41 years ago on January 16, 1969, that the 21-year-old student set fire to himself in the centre of Prague to protest against indifference following the crushing of the Prague Spring by Soviet-led Warsaw Pact in forces a year earlier. He died of his injuries three days later. His sacrifice stirred Czechs and focussed world attention on the country.