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DOCUMENT 9875 (2003)

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Parliamentary Assembly
Assemblée parlementaire

Need for international condemnation of totalitarian communism
Doc. 9875 rev.
25 September 2003

Motion for a resolution
presented by Mr van der Linden and others
This motion has not been discussed in the Assembly and commits only the members who have signed it

The Parliamentary Assembly,

1. Taking into account that during the totalitarian communist regimes in Central and Eastern Europe very serious violations of human rights were committed (caused because of the totalitarian communist doctrine of dictatorship and total control) including:
– killing of people without any legal procedure or the sentence being pronounced after their assassination;
– persecution of political opponents of the dictatorship;
– unfair trials;
– unfair elections leading to the usurping of power and de facto imposition of such regimes;
– inhuman treatment and torture especially in concentration camps, prisons and detention centres and especially against political prisoners and detainees;
– persecution based on ethnic grounds;
– persecution based on religious grounds;
– persecution and killings of priests and religious servants;
– violation of the right of ethnic self-identification and involuntary displacement of people on ethnic grounds particularly during Stalin’s leadership of the USSR;
– forbidding freedom of association and freedom of assembly;
– restriction of free movement in the state and abroad;
– serious violations of pluralism and impossibility for real political activity;
– severe violations of freedom of conscience, thought and expression;
– restriction of the right to information, lack of privacy and complete lack of press freedom;
– expropriation of private property including land;
– support for revolutionary communistic movements which fought outside of the democratic arena;
– export of financial resources abroad the destiny of which remains unclear to this date but which definitely belong to the people of the states concerned;
– total control of the security services over the life of the citizens.
This resumé is a list of different violations some or all of which were practised in different totalitarian regimes.

2. Noting with satisfaction that almost all of the states in Central and Eastern Europe which suffered totalitarian communist regimes have already become democratic countries and fully-fledged members of the Council of Europe;

3. Taking into account that there have been cases of populist forces, which play on the creation of nostalgia for those totalitarian communist regimes, especially in the countries which suffered such regimes.  Such populism is enhanced by the lack of information and education amongst the younger generation of the reality of life under those regimes and an inability to deal with this “nostalgia for the past” could negatively influence the decisiveness of a part of the society for democratic reform;

4. Taking into account the need for the strengthening of democratic citizenship and the rejection of all concepts of dictatorship and non-democratic trends, which previously existed on the European continent in order to prevent their revival;

5. Noting that nazi and fascist-totalitarism were condemned internationally but that totalitarian communism has not yet been condemned even from a moral perspective;

6. Having regard to Resolution 1096 (1996) of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe;

7. Calls upon:
a. the Secretary General of the Council of Europe to create a politically independent commission for the collection and assessment of information about violations of human rights during totalitarian communism;
b. Member states of the Council of Europe, which suffered communist regimes:
i. to set up national committees for the investigation of violations of human rights committed during the totalitarian communist regimes which should report on their findings to the Council of Europe ;
ii. to lift all confidentiality – if such still exists – of documents which could illuminate the cases connected with violations of human rights committed during the communist regimes – especially those committed by the communist secret services /political police and to encourage their citizens to come forward and bear witness to such events before this commission and the national committees.

8. Decides on the basis of the Report of the Council of Europe’s Commission to ask the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to adopt an official declaration for the international condemnation of totalitarian communism.

Van der Linden, Netherlands, EPP/CD
Akçam, Turkey, EPP/CD
André, France, EPP/CD
Aguiar, Portugal, EPP/CD
Atkinson, United Kingdom, EDG
Berisha, Albania, EPP/CD
Bušic, Croatia, EPP/CD
Cosarciuc, Moldova, LDR
Cubreacov, Moldova, EPP/CD
Figel, Slovakia, EPP/CD
Frunda, Romania, EPP/D
Herkel, Estonia, EPP/CD
Martínez Casań, Spain, EPP/CD
Mihkelson, Estonia, EPP/CD
Mintas-Hodak, Croatia, EPP/CD
Nemeth, Hungary, EPP/CD
Ouzky, Czech Republic, EDG
Patereu, Moldova, EPP/CD
Rochebloine, France, EPP/CD
Saks, Estonia, SOC
Sasi, Finland, EPP/CS
Skarbřvik, Norway, EPP/CD
Smorawinski, Poland, EPP/CD
Surján, Hungary, EPP/CD
Torbar, Croatia, EPP/CD
Toshev, Bulgaria, EPP/CD
Wilkinson, United Kingdom, EDG
van Winsen, Netherlands, EPP/CD

[1] SOC: Socialist Group
EPP: Group of the European People’s Party
EDG: European Democratic Group
LDR : Liberal, Democratic and Reformers’ Group
UEL: Group of the Unified European Left
NR: not registered in a group

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