Official Says Underground Will Be Prosecuted
WARSAW, Poland (AP) _ A deputy interior minister said the government plans to ″liquidate″ remaining underground organizations and the opposition publishing industry.
In a speech to the Communist Party Central Committee, Andrzej Gdula also said that opposition leaders who keep up their illegal activities face certain prosecution.
″We will take firm and consistent measures to liquidate the remaining illegal structures and underground printing and publishing activity,″ Gdula said Thursday. The Interior Ministry directs the nation’s police forces.
Excerpts from his speech were published Friday.
Gdula’s remarks underscore the government’s apparent conviction that it has gained the upper hand against the Solidarity underground with the May 31 arrest of Zbigniew Bujak, leader of outlawed Solidarity’s coordinating commission.
Bujak’s arrest after 4 1/2 years on the run as Poland’s most-wanted fugitive was a severe blow to underground activities aligned with the banned union movement.
Solidarity, formed during national strikes in 1980, was the first free trade union movement in the Soviet bloc. It was crushed when the government imposed martial law in December 1981.
The coordinating commission was responsible for promoting and coordinating Solidarity’s clandestine printing operations and cultural programs that are unprecedented in scope in the Eastern bloc.
The commission is now led by lesser-known activists lacking Bujak’s authority, and its future direction is unclear.
The governing party’s Central Committee met in a full session during the second day of a limited amnesty for prisoners.
The official PAP news agency reported Friday that 1,763 people had been released. Although no breakdown was given, the overwhelming majority of those freed were common criminals.
Releases under the amnesty, which officials say will total 20,000 common criminals and most of the estimated 350 political prisoners, will continue through mid-September.
However, opposition activists doubt that the most prominent jailed Solidarity figures will be released. They would apparently have to sign statements pledging loyalty to the socialist system, a condition few would accept.