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Controversial Polish communist Kiszczak to be buried without honours

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 06.11.2015 09:40
Former interior minister General Czesław Kiszczak, who died on Thursday aged ninety, will be buried without official military honours, Poland's ministry of defence has confirmed.
Czesław Kiszczak in court in 2009. Photo: PAP/Leszek SzymańskiCzesław Kiszczak in court in 2009. Photo: PAP/Leszek Szymański

In a statement released by the ministry of defence, it was also ruled out that a burial plot would be allocated by Minister Tomasz Siemoniak within Warsaw's historic Powązki Cemetery.

The funeral will not be attended by the Minister of National Defence or any other official representative of the ministry,” the statement underlined.

Kiszczak had been admitted to hospital in September, owing to heart problems, and he failed to make a recovery.

He was one of the key figures behind the imposition of martial law in December 1981, a crackdown against the Solidarity trade union that lasted until July 1983.

Up to 100 people died as result of the enforcement of martial law, among them a group of nine striking miners at the Wujek Coal Mine in Katowice, Silesia, who were killed on 16 December 1981.

Kiszczak was eventually sentenced in 2012 for his role in the crackdown, over twenty years after the fall of communism.

One of his co-defendants, Poland's last communist leader General Wojciech Jaruzelski, was ultimately excluded from the trial owing to poor health.

There was controversy in 2014 when Jaruzelski was given a state funeral at Powązki Cemetery.

Poland's outgoing centrist coalition government, led by the Civic Platform party, which lost the 25 October general election, is due to relinquish power over the coming days to the socially conservative Law and Justice party. President Andrzej Duda announced on Thursday that the first session of parliament will be held on 12 November. (nh/rk)

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