The Slovakian parliament has recently passed an anti-communist amendment which was put forward by their right-wing conservative coalition government. The amendment declares the Czechoslovak Communist Party and the now Communist Party of Slovakia as ‘criminal and reprehensible organisations’. This is an addition to the 1996 anti-communist law already in place declaring the ‘immorality and illegality of the communist system’ and the new amendment will come into effect as of 1st December this year.

This is the latest in a series of anti-communist measures in Europe. We have seen how the Communist Party of Poland has in recent times endured years of court cases relating to the attempted suppression of their Party’s newspaper, the banning of the youth wing of the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia for a period, and the outlawing of the Communist Party of Ukraine after the colour revolution in that country.

It is patently clear that the objectives and aims behind this amendment are to outlaw any communist organisation and deter and intimidate anyone who wishes to join the Party or who would support or sympathise with its politics. The amendment equates socialism with fascism, calls for the removal of statues and street names pertaining to the period of Czechoslovakian history during communism and essentially seeks to criminalise communist or socialist views. 

In addition to this one of the main objectives of the amendment is to distort history pertaining to the former socialist Czechoslovakia. It is clear that this law does not reflect the views of the majority of Slovakian citizens and are merely the views of a narrow group of individuals with a clear McCarthyite agenda.

The European Union claims to have rights of freedom of expression, yet its hypocrisy is highlighted in its inaction in addressing this blatant repressive legislation. The silence of the western media regarding this latest attack on free speech and freedom of association, once again highlights their hypocrisy and exposes their role as an instrument purely to promote the interests of the ruling class. 

Communists and socialists expect state repression from the ruling class. We must ensure we are vocal in opposing it wherever it happens. The Workers’ Party of Ireland offers our support and solidarity to the Communist Party of Slovakia in opposing this anti-democratic and anti-communist law.