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ÚPN publishes names of the members of the XII Division on its website

The Nation's Memory Institute (ÚPN) has posted the names of the 764 former members of the XII Division, the communist counter-intelligence unit.

The XII Division, based in Bratislava, was an executive branch of the Czechoslovak interior ministry, and was established as part of the reorganization of the Czechoslovak counter-intelligence force.

At the same time as publishing the names, the ÚPN announced that it wants those who committed state-sanctioned crimes against humanity in the communist era (1949-89) to face trial.

The ÚPN points out that there is no set time limit beyond which the perpetrators of such crimes can not be prosecuted.

"We want to process the crimes of former repressive units of the communist state as war crimes,” said Miroslav Lehký of the ÚPN. “This includes the shootings at the state borders between 1948-1989, and the denial of freedom to innocent people during this period."

According to Lehký, the ÚPN does not only focus on the "monstrous processes of the 1950s". People were deprived of their freedom right up until the fall of communism, and were accused of crimes that they hadn't committed, "even though in the 1980s punishments usual in the 1950s such as life imprisonment and the death penalty were no longer employed [to the same extent]."

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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