Monday, 31 January 2011

Hungarian Communist Faces Prosecution

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On January 27, Hungary's former Interior Minister Béla Biszku, 89, was prosecuted in Budapest “for denial of the crimes of national socialist and communist regimes.” The charges were filed in response to comments made by Biszku on August 4, 2010, in a televised interview on Hungary’s state-run Duna TV.

“I consider 1956 to have been a national tragedy of which I was [a] victim,” Biszku stated during the interview, adding that he had no reason to apologize for the events that transpired in his country, and that the Hungarian government was justified in its punishment of “lawbreakers” at the time. Biszku is known for his well-documented and key role in suppressing anti-communist and anti-Soviet freedom fighters during the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, during which time he became Interior Minister. 

His remarks are considered in violation of legislation passed by Hungarian lawmakers in February 2010 which makes it a crime to deny, doubt or downplay the Holocaust and other atrocities committed by the Nazi German regime during World War II. The law was then amended in June to include similar crimes against humanity committed by communist regimes such as the Soviet Union and its then-satellite People’s Republic of Hungary.

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