Vigil held at communist general’s house on martial law anniversary

Vigil held at communist general’s house on martial law anniversary

Protesters held a vigil outside the house of former interior minister General Czeslaw Kiszczak on Friday night in Warsaw, marking the 33rd anniversary of the imposition of martial law.

In previous years, the protest was held by the house of General Wojciech Jaruzelski, Poland’s last communist leader. However, Jaruzelski died in May.

Demonstrators recited the names of several dozen people who lost their lives during the crackdown, which began on 13 December 1981, ending on 22 July 1983. Troops took to the streets 33 years ago to stamp out the reforming initiatives of the Solidarity trade union, led by Lech Walesa.

Earlier this month, General Kiszczak was forced to undergo a medical examination, in order to verify if he is fit to stand trial for his role in the imposition of martial law. The trial, which is being handled by the Warsaw Appeal Court, is the latest in a long-running series of legal proceedings against the 89-year-old.

The vigil outside his house ended at 1am on Saturday morning. Kiszczak told tabloid Super Express on Friday that martial law ”turned out bad. ”I apologise to everyone,” he said. ”I am not frightened of court. ”I would even like to stand trial,” he claimed.

The late General Jaruzelski consistently argued that the imposition of martial law was ”the lesser of two evils”, claiming that it staved off a Soviet invasion. However historians are divided on this matter.

Meanwhile, at 2 pm on Saturday, current opposition party Law and Justice is leading a march in remembrance of martial law.

The procession will also be used to protest against the government, and alleged rigged voting in November’s local elections.


fot. Radek Pietruszka/EPA

Categories: News in English

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