PRAGUE, Czech Republic, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- Czech President Milos Zeman was pelted with eggs and tomatoes, as well as vocal abuse, while speaking at a Prague event Monday honoring the 25th anniversary of Czechoslovakia's Velvet Revolution. On a stage, which included presidents of other European nations, there to commemorate the revolution that led to the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe, Zeman was shielded by umbrellas while the crowd reacted to his refusal to condemn human rights abuses, and offered contempt for his obscenity-laced radio interview on Nov. 2. Many find Zeman's political stance overly sympathetic to Russia.
Demonstrators waved red cards, soccer's identification of a penalty committed, and an egg struck German President Joachim Gauck. The crowd applauded speeches by Glauk, Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski, Slovakian President Andrej Kiska and Hungarian President Janos Ader, each of whom prominently evoked the memory and legacy of former Czech President Vaclav Havel.
Zeman was elected president in 2013, and his comments have caused controversy in the Czech Republic since. After he linked Islam to an attack on Brussels' Jewish Museum, his government worked to mollify leaders of Arab nations. During a state visit to China, he told Chinese television he was in the country to learn how to stabilize a society. Zeman has also carefully avoided condemning Russia for military incursions, denied by Russia, in Ukraine.