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10. 1. 2014 9:47

Ethics Commission Conclusions no. 5

on an assessment as to whether work persecution is anti-communist opposition or resistance within the meaning of Act No. 262/2011 Coll.

The Ethics Commission notes that, as a result of the so-called “normalisation” after the occupation of the CSSR by Warsaw Pact soldiers in August 1968, thousands of people were affected by political checks and purges, mainly through their dismissal from the state or public and business sector, or their forced resignation from these positions.

The fact that the Party to the proceedings, an applicant for a certificate of a participant in anti-communist opposition and resistance in accordance with the provisions of Section 6 paragraphs 1 and 2 of Act No. 262/2011 Coll., on the participants in anti-communist opposition and resistance, was a victim of work persecution or was affected thereby, i.e. that she was forced by her employer to terminate her employment or was dismissed from work, had difficulties finding a new job in the area for which she was qualified, or otherwise had restricted opportunities for work or social life, does not in itself comply with the characteristics of anti-communist opposition and resistance in the individual forms set out in Section 3 of Act No. 262/2011 Coll., following on from the provisions of Section 2 (b) of the Act.

To comply with the legal forms of anti-communist opposition and resistance pursuant to the provisions of Section 3 paragraph 4 of Act No. 262/2011 Coll., it must be demonstrated during the proceedings that the Party to the proceedings took such public political and social stands, actively and of her own free will, which opposed the rise and duration of the communist totalitarian power, and that, for these stands, she was imprisoned, interned or her personal freedom was otherwise curtailed, or was forcibly evicted from his place of residence or otherwise seriously affected. To recognise the status of a participant in anti-communist opposition and resistance pursuant to Section 3 paragraph 4 of Act No. 262/2011 Coll., it must therefore be demonstrated during the proceedings that the Party to the proceedings meets both the requirements prescribed by law cumulatively, i.e. both the requirement for active opposition or resistance activities consisting of anti-communist stands adopted by the Party to the proceedings, taken actively and of her own free will and publicly, and also the requirement of a legal presumption of serious distress, which occurred in direct connection with these stands. Therefore, merely demonstrating the existence work persecution, albeit sufficiently intensive (comparable with imprisonment, internment or some other curtailment of his personal freedom, or forcible eviction from a place of residence), that could be considered relevant for granting the status of a participant of anti-communist opposition and resistance is not sufficient if the first requirement is not met.

Obiter dictum the Ethics Commission states that it greatly appreciates the attitude of patriotic resistance against the occupation of the CSSR by Warsaw Pact troops in August 1968; however, such a position by itself, if it is also an isolated expression of opposition, cannot automatically be considered to constitute opposition or resistance to the communist regime in Czechoslovakia within the meaning of Act No. 262/2011 Coll. What cannot be completely disregarded is the fact that manifestations of patriotic resistance to the occupation did not always mean a clear distancing from the policies of the Czechoslovak Communist Party, or communist ideology as such, but rather were often expressions of solidarity with the then political leadership of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, which despite all the social changes it had implemented, or planned, still remained under the control of the CCP and its party officials. Every case therefore has to be judged individually, with regard to the fact whether an anti-communist intention (motive) can (also) be found for the behaviour of the Party to the proceedings, within the meaning of Act No. 262/2012 Coll.

The reasoning:

(Ethics Commission CR Decision of 29 November 2012, ref. no. 16985/2012-EKO)

According to the provisions of Section 3 paragraph 4 of Act No. 262/2011 Coll., a form of anti-communist opposition and resistance is also understood to be include the taking of such public and social stands, taken actively and of one’s free will, which opposed the rise and duration of the communist totalitarian power, provide that their proponent was imprisoned, interned or their personal freedom was otherwise curtailed, or such person was forcibly evicted from their place of residence, or otherwise seriously affected. The dismissal of the Party to the proceedings from her position in the Czechoslovak People’s Army and the subsequent obstruction of his social position not only in the area for which she was educated, but also in similar professions, can generally be regarded as no minor punishment, but it still has to be evaluated in the light of the specific circumstances of the case. To meet the statutory definition of a form of opposition and resistance pursuant to Section 3 paragraph 4 of Act No. 262/2011 Coll., it would nonetheless have to be proven that this situation arose in direct connection with the political and social stands adopted by the Party to the proceedings (which opposed the rise and duration of the communist totalitarian power), taken actively and of her free will and publicly.

(Ethics Commission CR Decision of 8 January 2013, ref. no. 16865/2012-EKO)

In order to satisfy the definition set out in Section 3 paragraph 4 of Act No. 262/2011 Coll., both characteristics of the given definition must be met cumulatively – i.e. the taking of stands actively and of one’s free will which opposed the rise and duration of the communist totalitarian power and, subsequently, imprisonment or other form of curtailment of personal freedom. The Party to the proceedings has not submitted any documentation evidencing her public stance against the totalitarian regime, which opposed the rise and duration of the communist totalitarian power, as stated in her application. The only written document attesting to certain anti-regime opinions is the “minutes of the Department of Social Security of the National Committee for the town B. on the working and political evaluation of the Party to the proceedings” dated 20 November 1970. It is not possible, on the basis of these minutes, to clearly infer a stand, taken actively and of her free will, which opposed the rise and duration of the communist totalitarian power, that would satisfy the conditions of the definition pursuant to Section 3 paragraph 4 of Act No. 262/2011 Coll. Based on the data obtained, the Ethics Commission further notes that the Party to the proceedings had never been imprisoned, interned or had her personal freedom otherwise curtailed, nor forcibly evicted from her place of residence or otherwise seriously affected, let alone as a result of the active adoption of stands opposing the rise and duration of the communist totalitarian power. Consequently, the definition of a form of anti-communist opposition and resistance required by Act No. 262/2011 Coll. has not been met. In this regard, it appears to the Ethics Commission that the statement by the Party to the proceedings that she had never changed her position regarding the entry of Warsaw Pact troops into the CSSR in 1968 is inaccurate as this claim does not fully correspond to all the documentation submitted during the proceedings (the Party to the proceedings has been informed of all the documents used for this decision). For completeness, the Ethics Commission added that the condemnation of the entry of Warsaw Pact troops into CSSR in 1968 cannot by itself (and also apparently only on one occasion) be considered to be anti-communist opposition or resistance within the meaning of Section 2 (b) of Act No. 262/2011 Coll.

The Ethics Commission adds that the fact that the Party to the proceedings was reassigned, or dismissed, from her job in the National Committee of the town of B, cannot be considered to constitute adopting a stand against the communist regime, let alone an activity pursued actively and of her free will the goal to eliminate, weaken or disturb significantly, or otherwise damage the communist totalitarian power in Czechoslovakia and to restore freedom and democracy.

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