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Hungarian Communist Workers’ Party threatened by political trial

30. August 2007

Free speech under attack

Two years of imprisonment threaten the whole Presidium of the Hungarian Communist Workers’ Party. On the 21 September 2007, Friday, the City Court of Szekesfehervar (Hungary) in the capacity of the court of first instance will hear the case against the whole Presidium of the Hungarian Communist Workers’ Party. President Gyula Thürmer and 6 other members of the Presidium of HCWP are accused “in libel made in public”. According to the Criminal Code of Hungary they can be sentenced maximum to 2 years of imprisonment.

We ask your solidarity. We ask you to condemn the political process going on against the HCWP. We ask you to organise in September meetings in front of the Hungarian embassy in your country, demanding to stop the process against the communists and to guarantee the constitutional rights of people.

1. The prehistory of the case is the following:

In June 2005, just after the European Parliamentary elections former vice-president of the HCWP Mr. Attila Vajnai launched a wide political and ideological offensive against leadership of the party, demanding a principal change of the political line of the party. The main essence of his position was that the Communists should cooperate and go together with the Hungarian Socialist Party, which has been governing Hungary since 2002. He succeeded in getting support in those cities and localities where the members of the Hungarian Communist Workers’ Party used to have cooperation with the Socialists in the local municipalities.
The majority of the members of the Central Committee and the majority of the communist refused the position of Mr. Attila Vajnai and his supporters as a political platform which wants to reconsider the whole political experience of the party, to blow up the unity of the party, and to change into a reformist party – close supporter of the governing Socialists. The Central Committee confirmed that the Hungarian Socialist Party is a capitalist party, right-wing social-democratic party, realising a typical neo-liberal policy. It has nothing to do with Left programs and values.

The Central Committee of the HCWP excluded Mr. Vajnai and his supporters from the party 12 March 2005. Some weeks later, on the 2 April 2005 the Central Committee convened the 21st Congress of the party for 4 June 2007 in order to settle down the political crisis.

The internal opposition headed by Mr. Attila Vajnai turned to the Budapest Court demanding to invalidate the resolutions of the Central Committee of the HCWP.

The Budapest City Court invalidated the resolutions of the Central Committee on the 8 of June 2005. The Court restored the membership of Mr. Vajnai and his supporters in the party and in all leading bodies of the party and cancelled all resolutions of the 21st Congress.

As a consequence, the HCWP was paralyzed to a great degree for some additional months, and could not make the necessary preparations for the parliamentary elections in April 2006. It led to very difficult situation in the whole party and the whole workers’ movement.

The Presidium of the HCWP expressed its opinions in a declaration. It said that the judgment was a political judgement, which has no precedent in the legal history of the last two decades. The Presidium of the HCWP declared that the judgment is the revenge of the power for the referendum initiated by the Hungarian Communist Workers’ Party against the privatisation of hospitals. (The referendum took place in December 2004 and almost two millions voters voted against the privatisation of health care system).

The Budapest Court demanded the Presidium of the party to cancel this opinion officially and to declare that the judgement had nothing to do with politics. The leadership of the party refused to do it.

The head of the Budapest City Court prosecuted the whole leadership of the party. The Hungarian police investigated the case in February 2006 (just before the parliamentary elections). The public prosecutor accused the members of the Presidium of the HCWP of “libel made in public”.

2. The position of the HCWP:

The Hungarian Communist Workers’ Party is convinced that this judgment violates the Hungarian Constitution. The Article 61 of the Constitution gives for everybody the freedom of expressing his opinion.

We consider that the legal process has the aim to attack the Hungarian Communist Workers’ Party. In 2005 the judgment of the Budapest Court prevented our party to use the rising dissatisfaction of the people and to get to the parliament. Now, when the situation of the party has been consolidated, some political circles want to liquidate the party.

It is a part of the wide anticommunist campaign going on Europe. In Prague the Communist Youth Union was prohibited, in Budapest the grave of Janos Kadar was dishonoured, in Tallinn the monument of Soviet heroes was dismantled. Now two years of imprisonment threaten the Hungarian Communist leaders.

We confirm that we, Hungarian Communists will continue our fight, and nobody can threaten us. In this serious situation we ask your support and solidarity.

We are ready to give all information and explanation you require. We kindly ask you to inform us about your position. (Tel: +36-30-9443-520, e-mail:, fax: +361-3135423)

Comradely yours
Gyula Thürmer
Hungarian Communist Workers’ Party