Soviet collaborators unveiled

The Lithuanian government has published the names of 238 citizens who collaborated with the KGB during Soviet rule over the country.

The unmasked figures had already informed a government commission of their activities, but authorities have stated that they now intend to reveal more figures, including those who have not come clean about their past.

The measures are controversial as in 1999, the government passed a law that gave all former agents and informants six months to disclose their engagement with the secret police, with the stipulation that those who came forward would have their names kept secret.

Some 1600 citizens took part in the programme, only to find that there names were released regardless of the confidentiality clause.

Among those whose careers suffered was former Foreign Minister Antanas Valionis.

Thousands of former Soviet files are currently held by the state Genocide and Resistance Research Center.

The question of how to handle former collaborators continues to haunt Eastern bloc states some twenty years following the fall of the Iron Curtain.

In Poland, the so-called 'lustration' law was introduced, compelling public officials to state whether they had collaborated with the secret services.

The conservative Law and Justice government (2005-2007) tried to extend this to universities, but the academic institutions rebelled against the measures.


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