To suppress Solidarity, Poland cracks down on Western press
Warsaw — Poland's ouster of a UPI reporter may well reflect the authorities' fear that Western reporting of the activities of the newly freed Solidarity leaders could ''create political events,'' as one spokesman put it. . . .
Ruth Gruber, the American UPI correspondent in Warsaw, was told Wednesday she had to leave the country by Saturday midnight. She has been accused by the Poles of having transgressed the rules governing behavior of foreign journalists and told to leave. Just before the new year the BBC correspondent in Warsaw, Kevin Ruane, was told to leave Poland.
Government spokesman Jerzy Urban made it clear that the authorities were unhappy about the way the activities of the Solidarity underground are being reported.
The incident involving Miss Gruber and the new tough line being put across by the authorities comes against a background of deteriorating relations between the Polish authorities and the United States.
US diplomats have experienced harassment. A purge of Polish personnel employed at the embassy is under way as well as of Poles employed by Western reporters.
The tougher government line on the Western press is puzzling in the light of the seeming stabilization of the political situation in Poland, which is one reason the authorities decided to suspend martial law last Dec. 31.
The failure of the Solidarity underground's general strike call for Nov. 10 signaled the eclipse of the underground. Tapes of a recent meeting of the undergound captured by the police and broadcast by official Polish radio revealed that the Solidarity leadership at present estimates it has 200 full-time clandestine activists. The authenticity of the tapes has not been questioned.
It may well be that the authorities fear released internees will form the backbone of new forms of opposition to the government.