Jaruzelski charged over crackdown

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Prosecutors have filed charges against Poland's last communist leader, General Wojciech Jaruzelski, over his imposition of martial law in 1981. Charges were laid by Poland's Institute of National Remembrance (IPN), a body that investigates Nazi- and communist-era crimes.

Gen Jaruzelski imposed martial law to halt the activities of the Solidarity trade union, led by Lech Walesa.

Gen Jaruzelski has said he expects to go on trial soon.

In the early 1980s, the communist authorities could not bear the threat posed by the rise in popularity of Solidarity. Within months of it being founded in 1980, the union became a national political movement with 10 million members.

The authorities responded by declaring martial law in December 1981. Solidarity leaders and thousands of others were jailed, many being held in internment camps.

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