Thursday, 24 April 2014

Senate calls on EC to seek totalitarian crimes punishment

16 May 2011

Prague, May 15 (CTK) - The European Commission (EC) should in the future actively seek to create conditions for the punishment of crimes based on class and political hatred in the whole EU, Czech senators have recommended to the EC in reaction to its report on the crimes of totalitarian regimes.

In the report, the EC rejected a demand for the whole European ban on the denial of communism crimes, arguing that there are no conditions for such a step over different approaches in the individual EU member states.

"For the moment the EC can see its role in support for the activities aimed to preserve and deepen knowledge about the crimes of totalitarian regimes in Europe," Justice Minister Jiri Pospisil (senior ruling Civic Democrats, ODS) said.

The Czech centre-right coalition government of the ODS, TOP 09 and Public Affairs (VV) agrees with the EC's approach, he added.

Pospisil pointed out that only some post-communist countries, such as the Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania and Poland, had the denial of crimes committed by totalitarian regimes embedded in their legal systems.

"The unconcerned stance of West European EU member states on the crimes of communism is caused by ignorance or trivialising of modern history. Communism is still considered a good idea, mainly by European leftist intellectuals, which was only carried out in a wrong way," Civic Democrat (ODS) senator Tomas Grulich, historian by profession, said.

He added that he thought such a stance might be motivated by the effort not to make Russia angry over oil and gas supplies.

The danger of restoration of national socialism or communism has not been fully averted, Grulich said.

The Senate's recommendation was supported by all senators for the government parties and the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) as well as most Social Democrat (CSSD) senators. The other CSSD senators abstained from the vote.

Only Communist (KSCM) senator Marta Bayerova and her former party colleague Jaroslav Doubrava, from the movement, voted against it.

The Czech Republic along with other post-communist countries was striving for the condemnation of both totalitarian regimes' crimes in the past. In 2009, the Czech government was trying to set up a platform for the research into totalitarian regimes but in vain.

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