What is the present status of Article 109 of the Czechoslovak Penal Code? [CSK7404]

Article 109 of the Penal Code prescribed a penalty of six months to five years in prison, or confiscation of personal possessions, for anyone who attempted to leave Czechoslovakia illegally. The sentence was also passed in absentia on people who had succeeded in leaving the country without permission or who exceeded the time limit on their travel abroad (Amnesty International 1986, 7).

On 13 December 1989, the Federal Assembly approved an amendment to the Penal Code which decriminalized the crime of "illegally leaving the republic" and left only the crossing of the borders with the use of force or threat of force as punishable (FBIS 1989, FBIS-EEU-89-239).

Amnesty International. The Imprisonment of Persons Seeking to Leave a Country or to Return to Their own Country (London, 1986), p. 7.

"Approves Penal Code Amendments" CTK [Prague], FBIS-EEU-89-239, 14 December 1989, p. 29.