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English Section

Communist-era police officer charged with shooting Polish miners in 1981

10.07.2019 13:48
A communist-era police officer has been charged with a crime against humanity over the brutal suppression of a 1981 Polish miners’ strike in which nine protesters were killed, state news agency PAP has reported.
Photo: pixabay.com
Photo: pixabay.comCC0

The man, whose full name has been withheld under Polish privacy laws, is accused of having been a member of a special platoon in the communist riot police which fired at miners on December 16, 1981, killing nine people and wounding 21 others, according to PAP.

He was detained in Croatia in May and handed over to Poland in June.

He could face up to ten years in prison if convicted. He denies the charge against him.

Miners from the Wujek coal mine in the southern Polish city of Katowice went on strike on 13 December, 1981, the day that martial law was declared by the communist authorities to stifle rising opposition headed by the Solidarity movement.

The strikers called for an end to martial law, during which the authorities brought tanks to the streets, cut telephone lines and introduced a strict curfew.

In 2007, 15 former members of the platoon were given prison terms for their part in the killings, most sentenced to two-and-a-half to three years in jail, except for their former platoon commander, who was sentenced to 11 years.


Source: PAP