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26. 2. 2010 18:22

The International Conference Crimes of the Communist Regimes

An international conference will be held on 24 – 26 February in premises of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic and the Straka's Academy.

The conference Crimes of the Communist Regimes has been prepared by the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes in cooperation with foreign partner institutes.

The conference is divided into two parts. On 24 – 25 February it will be hosted by MVDr. Jiří Liška, Vice-Chairman of the Senate of the Czech Republic. On 26 February will be the conference organized by the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic; the concluding round table will be held under the auspices of Mr. ing. Jan Fischer, CSc, the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic.

The objective of the conference is to make a survey of crimes committed by communist regimes behind the Iron Curtain, to assess them from the legal point of view and to try to search possible solutions of present situation aimed at improving understanding and strengthening the European integration across former East-West border. Programme of the conference as well as information on registration can be found at www.zlocinykomunismu.eu.



8.30 Opening of the conference
Jiří Liška (Czech Republic), Vice-Chairman of the Senate

8.45 Inaugural Address
Herta Müller (Germany), former dissident, Laureate of the Nobel Prize in Literature 2009, tbc

9.00 – 9.30 Introductory lecture
“Death by Marxism“: Crimes committed by governments against their own citizens in the 20th century. Rudolph J. Rummel (USA), professor emeritus of political science, University of Hawaii

9.30 – 11.00
I. Crimes against humanity and our international commitment towards justice
How to classify the crimes committed by communist regimes against the civilian population? International treaties ratified in the 20th century and their implications. Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations on War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity. The UN G.A. resolution 3074 (XXVIII), Resolution of the PACE No. 1481, European Parliament Resolution of 2 April 2009 and other instruments. The importance of justice.
Host: Jiří Liška, Vice-Chairman of the Senate
Dainius Žalimas (Lithuania), Associate Professor, Vilnius University, Faculty of Law, Institute of International Relations and Political Science

Ineta Ziemele (Latvia), lawyer, European Court of Human Rights, Professor of International Law and Human Rights at Riga Graduate School of Law and at Lund University in Sweden

11.00 – 11.30 coffee break

11.30 – 13.00
II. Crimes against humanity committed by communist regimes in the former Soviet Union, the new EU member states, Germany and the Balkan I, studies of individual states II (15 min each)

Host of the discussion: Sandra Kalniete (Latvia), former dissident, Member of the European Parliament

Russia – Nikita V. Petrov, Memorial
Estonia – Toomas Hiio, Institute of Historical Memory Latvia - Valters Nollendorfs, Museum of Occupation of Latvia 1940-1991 Lithuania – Emanuelis Zingeris, International Commission. for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania, tbc
Ukraine – Volodymyr Vjatrovych, Security Service of the Ukraine

13.00 – 14.00 lunch

14.00 – 15.30
III. Crimes against humanity committed by the communist regimes - studies of individual states II (15 min each)
Host: Vladimír Bystrov (Czech Republic), Association "Oni byli první" (They were the first), tbc
Belarus - ………., tbc
Poland – Janusz Kurtyka, Institute of the Nation’s Memory, Slovakia – Lubomír Morbacher, Institute of the Nation’s Memory, Hungary –Janos M. Rainer, 1956 Institute/Historical Archive of the State Security/House of Terror, Germany – BstU (East German Ministry for State Securiry), tbc

15.30 – 16.00 coffee break

16.00 – 17.30
IV. Crimes against humanity committed by the communist regimes - studies of individual states III (15 min each)
Host: Zdeněk Křivka (Czech Republic), KPV (Confederation of Political Prisoners), tbc
Slovenia – Andreja Valič, Study Centre for National Reconciliation
Romania – Marius Oprea, Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes, Bulgaria – Vasil Kadrinov, Hannah Arendt Centre, Serbia – Marina Jelic, Centre for Peace and Democracy Development, Greece - Center for Democracy and Reconciliation in S.-E. Europe


8.45 Opening
Miroslava Němcová (Czech Republic), Vice-Chairwoman, Chamber of Deputies, Parliament of the Czech Republic

9.00 – 10.30
V. Case study: Communist crimes in Czechoslovakia and their prosecution. Czechoslovakia as an example: classification of crimes committed in 1948-1989 and their prosecution after the fall of the communist regime.
Host: Milan Hulík, lawyer, historian, former member of the Committee for the Defence of the Unjustly Prosecuted (VONS), tbc
Pavel Gregor, UDV (Office for the Documentation and Investigation of Communist Crimes), tbc
Eduard Stehlík, deputy director, Institute for Military History
Miroslav Lehký, deputy director, USTR (Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes)


10.30 – 11.00 coffee break

VI. Sentencing of communist criminals – country studies. Germany, Poland – countries with long experience in prosecution of communist crimes. Shootings at the Berlin wall, other sentences of criminals from the former GDR. Experiences of the Institute of the Nation’s Memory. The Jaruzelski trial? Slovenia - legal responses to totalitarian communist crimes.
Romania – the road to justice and problems with application of international law. Was international law ever applied and taken into consideration?
Host: Milan Zver (Slovenia), Member of the European Parliament, tbc

Christoph Schäfgen (Germany),
former General prosecutor, Berlin
Witold Kulesza (Poland), Professor of Penal Law, University of Lodz
Jernej Letnar Černič (Slovenia), professor in international human rights law, European University Institute, Firenze, Italy
Raluca Grosescu (Romania), Head of the Research and Documentation Office, Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes in Romania

12.30-13.30 lunch

13.30 – 15.00
VII. Thick lines, limited justice and the consequences.
Why has the road to justice been so unsatisfactory? The “thick line” - an explicit or unspoken phenomenon and its consequences. The rights of victims. The role of law and the judiciary in post-totalitarian countries. What happened to the communist regime‘s judges, prosecutors and police? Were the approaches different in the post-communist countries? What are the consequences in today’s societies in Central and Eastern Europe?
Host: László Tökész (Romania), Bishop, former dissident, MEP
Joachim Gauck (Germany), former Federal Commissioner for the records of the Stasi, chairman of the foundation ‘Against oblivion – for democracy‘, tbc
Eliška Wagnerová (Czech Republic), judge of the Constitutional Court

Vytautas Landsbergis (Lithuania), former dissident and President of Lithuania, MEP, tbc



8.45 Opening
Jana Hybášková, (Czech Republic), former MEP, Chairwoman of the European Democratic party

VIII. Crimes of Communism and Nazism –what have we learned?
Can we compare the crimes committed by the two dictatorships of the 20th century? The similarities, the differences. What did Western democracies know about the extent of human rights violations in the communist bloc? The Nazi crimes have been documented and prosecuted. Should we try to achieve the same for the communist crimes, and how?

Host: Göran Lindblad (Sweden), President, Political Affairs Committee, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
André Glucksmann (France), philosopher, writer, tbc
Nathan Sharansky (Israel), former Soviet dissident, former Minister, Director, Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies tbc
Daniel Cohn-Bendit (Germany), Member of the European Parliament, tbc

IX. Presentation of the European Commission.
The role of the European Union. How to achieve progress in integration in a Europe in which severe violations of fundamental rights go unpunished? The report of the European Commission on the crimes of communist regimes.
Introduction: Heidi Hautala (Finland), Chairwoman, Human Rights Subcommittee, European Parliament
Jonathan Faull, European Commission, Director-General, DG Justice, Freedom and Security, tbc

11.00-11.30 coffee break

11.30 – 13.00
X. International justice: UN tribunals, the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Transitional justice at the end of the 20th century. Can parallels be found with the situation in Central and Eastern Europe? How to deal with communist crimes in the former communist countries?

Host: Tunne Kelam (Estonia), former dissident, MEP
Carla del Ponte (Switzerland), former Chief Prosecutor, UN International Criminal Tribunals on the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, tbc
Yasmin Sooka (South Africa),
former commissioner, South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Solomon Islands Commission, tbc

13.00-14.00 lunch

XI. How to attain justice in post-communist societies, notably in the new EU member states?
The lessons drawn. How to overcome the non-action of national courts?

Host: Pavel Žáček (Czech Republic), Director of the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian regimes

Roundtable discussion
with speakers and VIP guests of the conference, i.e. Heidi Hautala, Sandra Kalniete, László Tökés, Carla del Ponte, Joachim Gauck, Vytautas Landsbergis, André Glucksmann, Nathan Sharansky, Tunne Kelam, Göran Lindblad and others, tbc

16.00 – 16.30 coffee break

Conclusion of the conference Crimes of the Communist Regimes

17.00 – 17.30
Press conference

Accompanying programme

• Exhumations of Securitate victims
Exhibition within the festival MENE TEKEL (see below)
Author: Institute for the investigation of communist crimes in Romania
Date: 22 February – 7 March, 2010
Venue: historical building of the Charles University, Prague 1, Ovocný trh
Entrance free to the public

• Milan Svoboda Jazz Quartet
Musical evening with jazz standards by one of the finest Czech jazz ensembles
Date and time: 24 February, 2010, 18.30-20.00
Venue: Czech Museum of Music, Prague 1, Karmelitská Str.2/4
Entrance free & exclusive for conference participants

• Festival MENE TEKEL
Festival against totalitarianism and violence
4th annual event, this year’s topic: Intellectual resistance
Date: 22 February – 7 March, 2010
Venue: various events, programme will be published on www.menetekel.cz
Entrance free to the public

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