Communist police on trial for harassing dissidents 40 years later 

StB members (the Czech secret police) forced dissidents to emigrate after imprisonment, beatings and threats to kidnap their children. 

Sofija Kordic
Sofija Kordic NewsMavens, Czechia
Source: Threats by jail or kidnapping. Five StB members will go to court
Communist police on trial for harassing dissidents 40 years later  - NewsMavens
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Why this story matters:

State Attorney brought the indictment following the work of the Office of the Documentation and the Investigation of the Crimes of Communism, based upon  documents from the end of the 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s.

Since the foundation of the office in 1995. more than 30 people have been charged. 

Jaroslav Jeroným Neduha was a guitar player and singer. Over 10 years he was regularly visited at home and work by StB, members of the Czech Communist Secret Police. At first, they wanted him to spy on others, and later to emigrate. He refused. Sometimes he would be interrogated for hours. The last straw was when he was confronted by two choices: to emigrate or to be accused of sexually abusing minors and imprisoned 8 years. He emigrated to Austria.

Jiří Chmel was a signee of Charter 77, a formal civic initiative calling for the then-Czech government to respect human rights. Association with the document was considered a political crime during the communist era. Chmel lost his job and was imprisoned. Later, he emigrated to Austria as well.

Details from the story:

  • After 40 years Jaroslav Jeroným Neduha will meet his abusers in court. Among other things, they destroyed his musical career.
  • Vratislav Brabenec, the saxophonist of the Czech underground cult band Plastic People of the Universe was threatened with the kidnapping of his child.
  • The Office of the Documentation and the Investigation of the Crimes of Communism is working on other cases. Criminal acts from the communist regime have not been time-barred if committed for political motives, if the perpetrator was not legally punished or if the accused face a minimum 10 years in prison.
  • Zbyněk Dudek, Jaroslav Maryško, Jiří Šimák, Karel Hájek a Rudolf Peltan, five former StB members rejected the accusations, and didn’t want to comment on the case. They are accused of the misuse of their official power and face up to 10 years in prison.
  • Along with others, the StB investigators forced the emigration of songwriter Svatopluk Karásek and actor Pavel Landovský.
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