Expunge Criminal Records Of Communist Regime Victims: Historians

Velvet Revolution

Prague, April 8 (CTK) – Czech historians proposed to clean the criminal records of the political prisoners executed under the Czechoslovak communist regime and recognise the resistance activities of those who were forced to leave their homeland at a public hearing in the Senate earlier this week.


Historian Petr Blazek, from the Centre of Totalitarian Regimes Documentation, said a number of executed political prisoners who were rehabilitated still had some criminal record left and it has not been deleted by courts in any of the cases.


Blazek also called for the release of the register of records on members of the Czechoslovak Communist Party (KSC).


Jiri Kaucky, head of an ethical commission for anti-communist resistance, said resistance fighters who had no written document proving their participation in the resistance unfortunately could get an official certificate. It was a problem, too, to recognise as resistance fighters those who instead of having been sent to prison were forced to leave the country, he said.


Kaucky said widows of political prisoners who could marry the prisoners only after they returned from prison should also be appreciated.


Historian Pavel Zacek, former head of the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes (USTR), said it is crucial that the actions of former political prisoners and the crimes of those who imprisoned them are not forgotten.


The hearing on further possibilities of support for political prisoners and their families was held in the Senate on the 50th anniversary of the Club 231, which was allowed to work for only several months in 1968 and whose successor was the Confederation of Political Prisoners founded in 1990, and the 40th anniversary of the Committee for Defence of the Unjustly Prosecuted (VONS), which monitored and published cases political prisoners and other people persecuted for political reasons in the late 1970s and the 1980s.