First Published: The Call, Vol. 7, No. 9, March 6, 1978.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Oslo, Norway–A trial of major political importance has just concluded in Bergen, Norway, with the conviction of five Workers Communist Party (AKPML) activists on charges that they “slandered” Bergen police chief Asbjorn Bryhn.
The defendants, Sverre Haga, Hakon Asse, Terje Valen, Torstein Haldorsen and Erik Hovden, helped to publish material which proved without a doubt that Bryhn actively collaborated with the German fascist occupation during World War II. They gave evidence proving that Bryhn worked with the fascists to gather intelligence against communists while the country was being occupied by the Germans. In their exposures, they linked Bryhn’s past Nazi sympathies with his brutality towards Norwegian political protesters.
The trial heard a former prime minister of Norway testify and support the statements of the five, verifying Bryhn’s Nazi activities. The Bryhn trial also revealed to many that the bourgeoisie in Norway has a sorry history when it comes to defending the national independence of the country. This is a burning question today with Norway’s four million citizens faced with an immediate danger from the Soviet Union, while the U.S. imperialists continue to exploit their country. The question of who will stand up to defend the national sovereignty confronts all the class forces in Norway.
It is in this light that the conviction of the Bergen activists after a trial of several weeks has focused attention on the AKPML. The trial has brought the Party before the public eye and has been widely publicized.
The AKPML is being viewed by millions as the only party that dares to tell the truth, not only about Asbjorn Bryhn, but about the growing danger of Soviet aggression as well. It is the only party that is actively arousing the masses and preparing them to wage a liberation struggle against any invaders.
The trial has attracted broad support for the five and for the Party, especially from among the older section of the population who know from experience about Bryhn’s work for the Nazis. The youth are more aware of his current vicious attacks on their protest demonstrations.
Following the conviction Feb. 17, the five defendants declared that they will refuse to pay the huge fines levied against them, and will continue to carry out their exposures of Bryhn and other traitors.