Prague / Warsaw / Bratislava, 21 February 2017. The prosecutors of the Polish Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) – the Main Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation – have instituted criminal proceedings in cases of Polish refugees killed by high-voltage electricity on the Czechoslovak Iron Curtain during Communism. The main surviving responsible person is former Minister of Interior, later member of the politburo and Prime Minister of Czechoslovakia, Lubomír Štrougal (*1924). The cases were presented to the IPN by the Platform of European Memory and Conscience within the “JUSTICE 2.0” project, which aims at reaching justice for the international crimes of Communism.
According to research by the Platform of European Memory and Conscience, former Czechoslovak politburo member Lubomír Štrougal (*1924), a Czech, is responsible for the death of at least 60 persons killed on the Iron Curtain during Communism. During his office as minister of interior, the Iron Curtain was charged with 4,000-6,000 Volts, leading to cruel deaths of refugees trying to cross the border to the West.
Since 1989, the Czech and Slovak Republics have not been willing to adjudicate these cases in domestic courts. Prosecutors from the Polish Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) – the Main Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation are now investigating the deaths of Polish citizens killed by high-voltage current on the Western borders of Czechoslovakia, after signal cases were presented to the IPN by the Platform as a part of its “JUSTICE 2.0” project.
“We are hopeful that with the involvement of the international community, justice for the killings of civilians during Communism will finally prevail,” says Platform President Göran Lindblad.
“Such initiatives inspire hope for a comprehensive settlement of communist crimes, the possibility of identifying the perpetrators and paying tribute to the victims,” says Dr Jarosław Szarek, President of the Institute of National Remembrance from Poland.
“The Nation’s Memory Institute appreciates the work of prosecutors in the partner organization IPN, because the basis for reconciliation and building future is justice,” says Dr Ondrej Krajňák, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Slovak Nation’s Memory Institute.