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Walesa Summoned; 7 Other Unionists Charged With Inciting Unrest

February 16, 1985|Associated Press

WARSAW — Polish authorities Friday summoned Solidarity leader Lech Walesa for questioning on a charge of inciting public unrest and formally accused seven other Solidarity activists--picked up during a police raid Wednesday at a meeting in Gdansk--of the same offense.

Three of the seven men charged were placed under formal arrest Friday and four were freed from detention. Walesa, who also attended the Wednesday meeting but was not detained, accused Communist officials of "hatred, repression and . . . violation of human rights."

The Solidarity leaders were meeting to plan a 15-minute nationwide strike on Feb. 28 to protest government plans to raise food prices. Walese founded the now-outlawed union in Gdansk during the labor unrest of 1980, also set off by price increases, and won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work.

Appearance Today

A woman who answered the telephone at Walesa's apartment Friday said: "Walesa has been summoned to the prosecutor's office in Gdansk on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. as a suspect." She did not give her name.

After getting the summons, Walesa issued a statement with Jacek Kuron, founder of the workers' rights group KOR, condemning the raid and the prosecutor's decision to put three of the men under arrest. KOR advised Solidarity in the union's formative period and then disbanded.

"We are deeply convinced that, in the case of illegal acts disguised as legal, one must answer with all one's strength so that it is clear that Poles won't accept passively this return of hatred, repression and the violation of human rights," the statement said.

Walesa was told that his participation in the meeting could lead to charges of causing public unrest and organizing illegal protests, one of his aides said, adding that a uniformed police officer delivered the summons to the Solidarity leader.

Maximum Sentence

The Gdansk prosecutor's office said the seven activists were charged under a section of the penal code for which the maximum penalty is three years in prison.

Poland's official PAP news agency said the three men arrested are Adam Michnik of Warsaw, Bogdan Lis of Gdansk and Wladyslaw Frasyniuk of Wroclaw.

Those charged and released Friday afternoon are Stanislaw Handzlik of Krakow, Janusz Palubicki of Poznan, and Mariusz Wilk and Jacek Merkel of Gdansk.

"The four of us were set free," Palubicki said in a telephone interview. "I was presented . . . the text of the charge in which there was talk about preparing the strike. I said I didn't admit to the charge and refused to testify and that was the end."

PAP said that Michnik, Frasyniuk and Lis had repeatedly violated the law since their release from prison last year under a government amnesty for political prisoners.

Under the amnesty approved last July, the old charges and cases against them could be reopened because they were "resuming opposition activities."

Reaction Feared

Lis and Frasyniuk are former members of Solidarity's underground Temporary Coordinating Commission. Michnik is a Solidarity adviser and co-founder with Kuron of KOR.

The crackdown reflects government concern about public reaction to the food price hikes planned for March. Price increases caused widespread worker protests and brought down governments in 1970, 1976 and 1980.

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