Polish gov't adopts bill to demote communist-era army officers
PR dla Zagranicy
The Polish government on Thursday adopted a bill that could see top communist-era military officers posthumously stripped of their rank.
Wojciech Jaruzelski pictured in 2006. Photo: Andrzej Barabasz (Chepry) (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
The bill was adopted on Cursed Soldiers’ Day, which commemorates repressed anti-communist activists.
Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak said the bill was “symbolic” and that it would “restore normalcy and justice”.
But the bill has been opposed by some soldiers’ and veterans’ organisations, which said it disrespected military ranks.
The bill specifically aims to strip former communist strongman Wojciech Jaruzelski and ex-Interior Minister Czesław Kiszczak and of their generals' stripes.
Jaruzelski was Poland’s last communist-era president and was instrumental in imposing martial law in 1981. He died in 2014.
Kiszczak also played a key role in imposing martial law and suppressing the Solidarity pro-democracy movement in Poland. He died in 2015.
A parliamentary report compiled at the start of the 1990s said over 90 people were killed during martial law, which was introduced on 13 December 1981 and lasted formally until 22 July 1983.