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Issue #1876      July 10, 2019

Call for action

Against the ban of communism in Poland

Anti-communist persecution in Poland intensifies as the state authorities attempt to criminalise the communist activity by changes of the penal code. This is an element of the anti-communist campaign aimed at banning the Communist Party of Poland.

The legal changes are also a part of the persecution such as a trial of the members of the CPP and its newspaper the Brzask editorial board. At the same time the Polish authorities raise other obstacles to the communist activity as well as falsifying the history and destroying anything connected with communism and the Peoples’ Poland.

The amendments to the penal code, including the ban of communist activity (article 256) were made just 10 days before the elections to the European Parliament.

They mean heavier, unacceptable punishments and widening scope of punishable crimes. The changes are numerous and concern 105 out of 360 articles of the code. The government presented the changes as a reaction on the paedophilia scandal among the Catholic priests and related to this crime. However, just a few amendments concern it.

The reactionary changes have proceeded very hastily. On May 14, the project was sent by the government to the parliament. The next day the Sejm (the lower chamber) started the legislative procedure and on 16th of May, it was voted and passed by the Sejm. Later it was passed to the upper chamber – Senate – which added a further 43 amendments, and now returns to be voted in Sejm. The government has the majority in both chambers so it would not have any problems with passing the amendments. Next, the new law should be signed by the president. There is a widespread opinion of lawyers that changes of the code violate the constitution and human rights. However, the Constitutional Court is currently controlled by the judges nominated by the government.

Amended article 256* bans communism and equates it with Nazism and fascism. Previously it penalised the promotion of the “fascist or other totalitarian systems of the state”. Ten years ago there was an attempt to ban communist symbols with the same legal measure: It was met with internal and international protests and in 2011 it was cancelled by the Constitutional Court.

However, in recent years the law was used very widely as shows the history of the trial of the CPP and its newspaper Brzask. The new version of the law bans the ideology, symbols or any other contents (prints, recordings) as well as presentation and possession of any symbol of this content. The new code also increases the penalty from 2 to 3 years of imprisonment.

The Communist Parties to oppose the anti-communist campaign and penalisation of communist ideas in Poland. We demand all the prosecutions against the communists to be stopped immediately

SolidNet Parties

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