Justice 2.0 – a database of the Iron Curtain victims

Prague, Wroclaw – On 26 November a prosecution was initiated in the Czech Republic against persons responsible for murders committed along the Iron Curtain. Among the suspects are former general secretary of the Czechoslovak Communist Party Milouš Jakeš, former Prime Minister Lubomír Štrougal and Minister of Internal Affairs Mr Vratislav Vajnar. The prosecution is based on the Platform’s criminal complaint against the last surviving Czechoslovak politburo members and further persons for killing on the borders, which was delivered to the office of the Supreme State Prosecutor of the Czech Republic in Brno in 2017.

The second important activity of the Justice 2.0 project is helping of those surviving victims of the Iron Curtain, who were captured in their attempts to leave the Communist bloc countries through former Czechoslovakia’s borders. So far 24 people (former East-German citizens) were rehabilitated and compensated by the Czech and Slovak courts (as of November 2019), another 12 people were rehabilitated and they are waiting for a compensation, and more people are still waiting on court decisions.

During the Cold War thousands of people from the Communist part of Europe escaped or attempted to escape to the free world by crossing the borders. In the new phase of the project, documentation of further cases and work on a database of victims of the Iron Curtain (killed, wounded, imprisoned) in Europe is being created. In the first stage, finishing in the next year, a thousand names will be published. Their data (along with circumstances of oppression) will be based on research done in archives of former countries of the Soviet Bloc and with collaboration with international partners. In this way, the fates of people of various nationalities who risked their lives to live in freedom will be remembered.

The new part of the Justice 2.0 project is launched altogether with the Remembrance and Future Institute in Wrocław, Poland.

The purpose of the project is to raise international awareness about the issue of unpunished international crimes of Communism and to contribute to finding ways of achieving international justice for these crimes.