Accessibility links

Poland's Last Communist-Era Leader Hospitalized


Poland's last communist-era leader, General Wojciech Jaruzelski, is reported in serious condition in a Warsaw hospital for treatment of pneumonia and other medical complications.

Western and Polish news reports say the 84-year-old general was hospitalized last week.

The general remains a divisive figure in Poland for his 1981 imposition of martial law in efforts to suppress the Solidarity labor movement, the first government-recognized independent trade union in a communist-ruled country. Scores of people were killed in the crackdown, while tens of thousands of other Solidarity activists were arrested.

Last April, prosecutors formally charged General Jaruzelski with "communist crimes" for the martial law declaration, which authorities said violated Polish law.

The general has said he declared martial law to avoid the potential for a bloodbath that was expected if Soviet troops had intervened in Poland.

Legal proceedings against the general have stalled over the past decade, as courts repeatedly dropped charges against him connected to the crackdown.


Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

XS
SM
MD
LG