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Czechs honour Havel in Prague procession

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Czechs honour Havel in Prague procession

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Thousands of Czechs have turned out in Prague to pay their respects to the former president Vaclav Havel following his death at the weekend.

A procession carried Havel’s coffin from the medieval old town, where it had been displayed since Monday, to Prague Castle.

It was the first of three days of official mourning that will culminate in a state funeral on Friday. The day will also be officially marked in Slovakia where Havel was also president before the partition of the old Czechoslovakia.

His widow Dagmar Havlova had personally invited Czechs to join the cortege through the city’s historical centre.

The current president, Vaclav Klaus, said his predecessor became a symbol of the fight for democracy and human rights – and of the country’s transition from communist dictatorship after the Velvet Revolution in 1989.