Communist Party’s Dolejš, other members, distance themselves from colleague’s statements

Members of the country’s Communist Party have distanced themselves from highly-controversial statements made by one of its own members, MP Marta Semelová, related to an infamous show trial in the Stalinist 1950s that saw democratic politician Milada Horáková found guilty of high treason and sentenced to death. A guest on a Czech TV interview programme, Semelová went so far as to suggest that Mrs Horáková’s confession need not have been coerced by the former regime.

Senior members of the Communist Party, including deputy chairman Jiří Dolejš, have since reacted, saying they did not share their colleague’s opinion. Mr Dolejš made clear that the opposite was true: that during what was one of the darkest periods in Czechoslovak history, suspects could be made to confess to anything, daily Lidové noviny reports. A member of a local NGO is considering pressing charges against Marta Semelová over her statements; a number of centre-right politicians have expressed support, saying the matter should be settled in court.

Author: Jan Velinger