Battěk co-founded the Club of Committed Non-Party Members (KAN) in 1968, which promoted human rights. KAN was banned by the Soviet Union following the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia later in 1968. Battěk was arrested and imprisoned on two occasions for activities against the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia. He spent ten years imprisoned by Communist authorities during the 1970s and 1980s.
In 1989, Battěk re-entered politics following the Velvet Revolution. He joined the Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD), but was expelled from the party in June 1990. Battěk became a member of the Association of Social Democrats after his expulsion from the ČSSD. In 1993, the leadership of the ČSSD reversed its original decision to expel Battěk and invited him to rejoin the ČSSD. Battěk declined the offer to rejoin the ČSSD, choosing to remain a member of the Association of Social Democrats. In 1996, Battěk ran as a candidate for the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic as an independent from ward 8 in Prague, but lost the election.
Rudolf Battěk died on 17 March 2013, at the age of 88.
- "Former dissident, post-1989 politician Battěk dies". Prague Daily Monitor. 2013-03-18. Archived from the original on 2013-12-16. Retrieved 2013-03-20.