Information on the treatment of members of the Polish military intelligence. [POL2372]

According to an expert on military intelligence at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, it is very common that ex-members of the Polish intelligence service are harassed and even threatened with death after they defect. This source adds, however, that in the case of Poland, this type of action has become less frequent. [ Information received by telephone from a member of the Political Science Department, U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, 24 October 1989.] Operations of this nature are much more common in West Germany than in Canada due to geographic proximity. [ Ibid.]

A recent article in The New York Times Magazine focuses on the CIA's program for aiding defecting Soviet intelligence officers. Such aid is administered under an "ailing defector program" of the CIA's Resettlement Office. It involves annual payments to defectors and sometimes the provision of new identities. According to this article, a number of these defectors are critical of the CIA's support system. They allege that the aid offered is often negligible. [ David Wise, "It's Cold Coming Out," The New York Times Magazine, 17 September 1989.]

The Jamestown Foundation, a private organization in Washington that lobbies for better aid to defectors, states that a number of Poles have been helped under the CIA's program. One former member of the Polish intelligence service has been given a new identity in the U.S. In the early 1980s, this same man was allegedly sentenced to death in Poland. There is no evidence that this sentence has been revoked under the new government and the Jamestown Foundation, for one, feels that it would be premature to assume a revocation since both the Defence and Interior Ministries remain under Communist control. [Information received by telephone from the Jamestown Foundation, Washington, 25 October 1989.]

The Foundation states that all countries, except Romania and possibly Cuba, try to refrain from assassinating emigrés and defectors in the U.S. Nevertheless, defectors are monitored by the various intelligence agencies. Monitoring is thought to be more active in West Germany and could involve more direct harassment, beating, or possibly assassination. [ Ibid.] According to the Foundation, a defector whose case has been made public would be much more at risk than one who is immediately put under official protection. [ Ibid.]

In a recent article, Victor Gundarev, a full colonel in the KGB, who recently defected to the U.S., states that he knows of no assassination of a defecting agent in the last 15 years, but adds that "the risk is there." [ Ibid.] Heavily-armed KGB officials were arrested outside of the U.S. embassy in Athens hours after he was flown from Athens to Washington. [ Ibid.]

Regarding the above-mentioned oral sources, the IRBDC is, at this time, unable to provide further corroborating information.