As reported By Adam Easton on the BBC News website Poland has passed a law in which former communist collaborators will be barred from working in business, government, or media. Priest are exempt from this law although it is said that one in ten priest collaborated.
The prosecution of former communist spies presents a serious issue of what defines "collaboration" and how it is proven. When we visited the National Center for Memory at Bratislava, one of the ethical issues that came up was that three categories of people one the list:
1. People whom the communists wanted to recruit,
2. People who were recruited but never reported anything or misreporting things so as not to harm anyone,
3. People who were true spies and provided information that resulting in harming people.
Will the Polish law only prosecute the "true spies" whose information resulted in the harming of other people or everyone on the list? If it is only the "true spies" then it seems this law is about justice, but if it goes for everyone on the list, then it opens the process to political and business corruption.
The article talks about how many of the "secret police files are missing and have been tampered with." Will the law make provisions for the burden of proof of collaboration, before prosecuting individuals?
These are questions that need to be answered.