Platform calls for trials of surviving Communist leaders for crimes against humanity

Brussels, 28 May 2015. At an event called “JUSTICE 2.0“ in the European Parliament in Brussels yesterday, the Platform of European Memory and Conscience presented the names of living top-ranking persons responsible for crimes against humanity committed in former Communist countries in Europe who have never been tried in court. The Platform launched an international call to help re-instate justice.

As a part of the event, a sculpture by Czech artist group Pode Bal was unveiled by EU Commissioner Tibor Navracsics on the Esplanade Solidarność and a documentary film by Stefan Weinert “JUSTICE 2.0” was screened in the Parliament.

In a pilot project, the Platform has identified two categories of crimes against humanity for which the top-ranking responsible persons have never been taken to court: the killings along the Iron Curtain in former Czechoslovakia between 1948-1989 and the mass persecution, killings and deportation of Turks from Bulgaria between 1984-1989. The International Legal Advisor Team of the Platform has assessed the cases and the criminal responsibility of the persons involved. 25 years after the fall of the Communist regime, the Platform is issuing a call to the international community to exercise universal jurisdiction over the responsible persons and to create a new supranational institution of justice which would try the perpetrators of international crimes of Communism.

There can be no reconciliation in Europe without truth and justice,” says Platform President Göran Lindblad. “We hope that democratic governments around the globe will respond to our call so that we can see justice for the gravest crimes of Communism finally prevail.”

 

 

The identified surviving top-tier persons responsible for crimes against humanity:

For former Czechoslovakia: three members of the Presidium of the Central Committee of the Communist party of Czechoslovakia KSČ – Milouš Jakeš, Secretary General of the KSČ in 1987-1989, Lubomír Štrougal, Prime Minister of Czechoslovakia in 1970 – 1988 and Peter Colotka, Prime Minister of Slovakia in 1969-1988; Vratislav Vajnar, Minister of Interior in 1983-1988, František Kincl, Minister of Interior in 1988-1989, three Deputy Ministers of Interior – Ján Pješčak, Vladimír Hrušecký and Stanislav Nezval; František Šádek, Commander in Chief of the Border guards in 1969-1982 and at least three Commanders of Border guard brigades – Ondrej Šedivý, Viktor Gallo and Ladislav Trávníček.

For Bulgaria: member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Bulgaria Georgi Atanasov, Prime Minister of Bulgaria in 1986-1990; Georgi Tanev, Minister of Interior in 1988-1989, Ivan Dimitrov, Deputy Minister of Interior and chief of the People’s militia in 1981-1990, Ivan Velinov, Chairman of the Supreme Court in 1981-1990 and Kostadin Kotsaliev, head of the Main Investigation Department of the State Security in 1982-1990.