Brabenec of Plastic People testifies in dissident harassment trial

Vratislav Brabenec of rock band the Plastic People of the Universe gave evidence in court on Tuesday against officers of the Communist-era secret police accused of forcing dissidents to leave Czechoslovakia. Mr. Brabenec said he had emigrated after the StB had threatened to kidnap his infant daughter or shoot his dog and subjected him to regular searches and interrogations.

A group of ex-dissidents have taken a case against five then StB officers accused of taking part in Operation Clearance in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It used systematic harassment to leave individuals the regime considered inconvenient with no alternative but to emigrate.

Author: Ian Willoughby