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Poland's communists call for international support and an end to persecution

THE Communist Party of Poland (CPP) appealed for international support today prior to next month’s reopening of court proceedings against the editorial board of the party’s newspaper Brzask.

Party officials say that the prosecution is politically motivated — part of a campaign by the state authorities to outlaw the party.

The case has continued for the past four years, despite an acquittal on all charges last year. It was reopened following an appeal by the prosecutor, which the CPP warned was “subordinated to the government.”

Charges were brought against the paper’s editorial board because of the display of communist symbols and the content contained in articles.

Changes to Poland’s penal code introduced last year banned the ideology, symbols and other material associated with communism, equating it with nazism and including it as a “totalitarian belief.” Breaching the code carries a potential three-year jail sentence.

Poland’s right-wing government has been bolstered in its moves against the CPP by the European Parliament, which was blasted for passing “a reactionary ahistorical motion” last September equating communism with “the monster of fascism.”

The motion also called for the erasure all memorials of “totalitarianism” across Europe, including memorials dedicated to the Red Army.

Poland’s communists warn that this had led to the “rewriting of history,” with the repercussions being felt: streets and monuments associated with the communist and workers’ movement are being renamed, though these have led to mass protests against the government.

The party is demanding an end to the prosecution of communists and the criminalisation of communist ideas, with all anti-communist laws withdrawn.

It is calling on the international community to join an international day of action against political persecution on March 2 by sending petitions and holding protests in front of Poland’s embassies around the world.

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