Platform: Killing of refugees on the borders is an imprescriptible crime

Berlin / Prague, 25-26 August 2016. At two press conferences, one held in Berlin on 25 August and one in Prague on 26 August, the Platform of European Memory and Conscience presented its criminal complaint launched with the German Federal Prosecutor General for the killings of five German refugees on the borders of Czechoslovakia during Communism. Among those responsible are the three last living members of the Politburo of the Communist party of Czechoslovakia, Secretary General of the Communist Party Milouš Jakeš, Czech Prime Minister Lubomír Štrougal and Slovak Prime Minister Peter Colotka. They have never been sentenced for any of their deeds committed during the dictatorship.

The Platform announced this pioneering legal step, part of its “JUSTICE 2.0“ project, first in the Federal Representation of the Free State of Saxony in Berlin under the auspices of Arnold Vaatz, Deputy Chair of the CDU/CSU group in the German Bundestag, and subsequently in the Senate, Parliament of the Czech Republic, courtesy of Senator Jiří Šesták (indep.) and under the auspices of Senate Vice-President Miluše Horská (indep. for the KDU/ČSL).

The killing of refugees on the inner-German border has already been established by German courts as an imprescriptible crime, namely as murder for base motives. The so-called trials of the shooters from the Berlin Wall took place between 1991-2004 and resulted in the sentencing of about 150 perpetrators in the entire chain of command, starting from the last Secretary General of the Communist party Egon Krenz.

We are asking the German prosecuting authorities to extend this model to German refugees killed along the Iron Curtain outside Germany,“ says Platform Managing Director Neela Winkelmann.

The German Bild-Zeitung today has picked up the cause, as have numerous nationwide media in the Czech Republic and elsewhere.


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Bild-Zeitung Article 26.8.2016