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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Polish president: communist crimes should not be subject to statute of limitations

01.06.2020 06:45
Polish President Andrzej Duda is to submit a proposal to parliament to abolish a statute of limitations on communist crimes.
Image by Okan Caliskan from Pixabay
Image by Okan Caliskan from Pixabay Pixabay License

Under the Act on the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN), a body which investigates crimes committed against the Polish nation by the Nazi German and communist regimes, crimes committed by functionaries of the communist apparatus can be prosecuted only until August 1, 2020.

In case of murders perpetrated by the communist regime, the deadline is August 1, 2030.

Andrzej Dera, a senior aide to Duda, has told public broadcaster Polish Radio that the president’s stance has been clear since the beginning of his term of office in 2015. 

“The past is important because it constitutes the roots of present-day reality. Bearing this in mind, the times when the communists ruined people’s lives and destroyed everything that was connected with patriotism must not pass into oblivion,” Dera said, adding that all those responsible for communist crimes should be brought to account.

During a Q&A session on Facebook last Thursday, Duda said that he would support a bill to abolish the statute of limitations on communist crimes.

“Communist crimes should be prosecuted in the same way as crimes of genocide,” Duda said.

Andrzej Gwiazda, one of the founders of the Solidarity pro-democracy movement, told Polish Radio that a failure to introduce a law allowing communist crimes to be prosecuted beyond August 2020 would amount to “a mockery of justice.”

(mk/pk)