Victim of communist regime Grzegorz Przemyk died 36 years ago

Grzegorz Przemyk was only 18 when he was beaten to death by the communist era police force.

On the 12th of May 1983, a group of high school students were celebrating the end of their final exams in the Old Town of Warsaw. The Civic Militia (MO), the communist-era police force, stopped them to check their IDs and took him and one of his friends to the nearby police station. There he was brutally beaten with police batons across his back and stomach.

He was then released. Two days later he felt pain in his stomach. He was taken to the hospital, where he died the same day, May 14, 1983. The cause of death was damage to his internal organs.

The communist prosecutors opened an investigation into his death, but it was manipulated in order to protect the militia officers. Cezary Filozof, Przemyk’s friend and witness was threatened and his lawyer was arrested for 6 months on trumped up charges of humiliating the main institution of state power. Other witnesses were threatened and instructed how to testify.

In addition to trying to clear the militiaman responsible, the government tried to put the blame on the paramedics who tried to save Przemyk’s life. After a show trial, they received sentences of 2 and 2.5 years in prison. The minister of the interior at the time, Czesław Kiszczak, was involved in the cover-up. Written proof of his decision to blame the murder on the paramedics exists.

After the fall of the communist regime multiple trials were opened into the case. Despite that, neither of the two militia officers responsible, nor Czesław Kiszczak, were ever punished in any way for Przemyk’s death.