Prague, March 2 (CTK) – Seven Czech nongovernmental groups have filed a criminal complaint against the Communist Party (KSCM) because they say the KSCM denies, challenges and justifies genocides, the Centre for the Documentation of Totalitarian Regimes (CDTR) writes on its Facebook profile.

KSCM deputy chairman Jiri Dolejs considers the reasoning of the complainants absurd, he told CTK on Wednesday.

The complaint was signed by the CDTR, the Confederation of Czech Political Prisoners, the Association of Former Political Prisoners, the Platform of European Memory and Conscience, the Post Bellum organisation, the Association of former inmates of military camps of forced labour (PTP-VTNP), and the Prague Academic Club 48.

According to the above NGOs, the KSCM statement, issued on the latest anniversary of the 1948 Czechoslovak communist coup on February 25, approves of the crimes committed by the communists in Czechoslovakia but also of the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the Soviet Union and other communist dictatorships.

Dolejs said the KSCM declares its adherence to social revolutions, but this does not mean that it admires abuse of power and undemocratic regimes or even genocides.

In its official statement, the party claimed adherence to “the revolutionary legacy” of February 1948 and it praised the work and devotion of the generations of the developers of the first form of socialism. At the same time, the KSCM regretted tragic deformations and deficiencies that harmed the idea of socialism.

The Communist Party said it had already apologised to all those whose lives were affected by these deformations.

Dolejs said this statement did not say anything new.

The seizing of power and the further developments in Czechoslovakia were two different things, he said.

In 1948, the communists seized power in accordance with the constitution, but democracy was beaten during the further developments, Dolejs said.

In February 1948, the communists assumed control over the country after a government crisis that they apparently provoked. On February 25, 1948, President Edvard Benes accepted the resignation of 12 non-communist ministers and he appointed new ministers chosen by communist prime minister Klement Gottwald.

During the communist regime lasting from 1948 to 1989, about 250 people were executed for political reasons and about 4500 of more than 200,000 political prisoners died in prisons or labour camps. Some 170,000 people fled the country and several hundred died when trying to get across the heavily guarded border.