WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Prosecutors have opened an investigation into whether or not the Polish flag was publicly insulted after a household in Warsaw hung a flag from their balcony mixed with a lightning bolt, a logo for ladies’s rights in Poland.
It’s the most recent incident to boost questions on freedom of expression and democracy beneath Poland’s conservative authorities. Authorities have been more and more making an attempt to rein in anti-government protesters, together with with the usage of police intimidation.
Over the weekend, the police entered the Warsaw residence with no warrant and eliminated the household’s flag. It had a lightning bolt, the image for the Ladies’s Strike motion, superimposed on the nationwide white-and-red flag.
Aleksandra Skrzyniarz, a spokeswoman for the district prosecutor’s workplace in Warsaw, advised TVN24 on Monday that prosecutors had opened an investigation. It’s to find out if there was a violation of a legislation which makes it a criminal offense to insult, destroy or harm flags and different nationwide emblems.
The crime might be punished by as much as a yr in jail.
Michal Wawrykiewicz, a lawyer with Free Courts, an initiative preventing for rule of legislation, mentioned “the conduct of the police is scandalous and unacceptable in a democratic state dominated by legislation.” He famous that it comes as police have lately used tear gasoline and different pressure towards peaceable protesters, and amid a common deterioration of civic freedoms.
“The lightning bolt on the Polish flag actually doesn’t offend nationwide symbols. It’s only an expression of civic disagreement with the present authorities that brutally violates human rights and democratic guidelines,” Wawrykiewicz advised The Related Press.
He mentioned that supporters of right-wing political forces fairly often use their symbols on the flag, however that the police have by no means intervened in these circumstances.
Poland, he mentioned, is experiencing now “a really large assault on freedom of expression, it has by no means been so within the final 30 years. Poland is turning into Belarus in the case of requirements of human rights safety.”
The Ladies’s Strike has organized mass nationwide anti-government protests after a excessive courtroom dominated Oct. 22 to ban abortions even when the fetus has congenital defects. The ruling would additional tighten considered one of Europe’s most restrictive abortion legal guidelines.
Three ladies in Poland have additionally been charged and withstand two years in jail for “insulting spiritual beliefs” after sharing posters of the Virgin Mary with a halo within the rainbow colours of the LGBT flag amid a protest towards anti-LGBT language by authorities.