In a situation where we have a person who is in a very difficult situation for him, the police, instead of helping him, begin to perform various activities that deeply interfere with his personal dignity, said former ombudsman Adam Bodnar in “Fakty po Faktach”. He commented on the actions of the officers towards Joanna. He also assessed that “the police have changed their role”. “Instead of helping, he is doing justice or doing injustice, without waiting for any court rulings, whether it’s legal or not.”
In recent days, there has been a discussion about the case of Joanna, who decided to take an abortion pill because the pregnancy was supposed to threaten her health. She felt bad both physically and mentally. She informed her doctor about it. In the Krakow hospital, she was interrogated and searched by the police. The officers took her laptop and phone. The case was presented by “Fakty” TVN.
SEE THE MATERIAL OF “FACTS” TVN: Joanna took the abortion pill. The police came to the hospital, took her laptop and phone
The court, examining the complaint about taking the phone and ordering its return, reminded the policemen that Ms. Joanna was not a suspect, nor was she even considered to be charged.
Jarosław Szymczyk, the chief of the police, presented the recordings at the conference on Thursdayon which the call to the emergency number by Mrs. Joanna’s doctor and the receipt of the notification in this case by the police were registered. When asked by TVN24 about the actions taken by the police in the hospital, Szymczyk replied that “this is a normal procedure for people who we suspect want to take their own lives.”
“Today I just made sure that the police were hunting me for an abortion. I never said my mood was about abortion. I did it more than a week before calling the doctor – she commented in an interview on Thursday’s police press conference Mrs. Joanna. Her attorney announced that she would submit a notification to the prosecutor’s office in connection with the actions of the police.
Bodnar: the police chief does not refer to the court’s decision at all
He referred to the whole matter on Saturday in “Fakty po Faktach” on TVN24 Adam Bodnara former ombudsman who declared his will to run for the Senate under the Senate pact.
He noted that the chief of police “does not refer to the court order that exists in this case.” He added that it confirms that “the intervention was not justified or appropriate, because Joanna could not be considered a suspect.” “Secondly, it was against the law to stop the phone,” Bodnar said.
In the opinion of the former ombudsman, “this should result in disciplinary and perhaps criminal liability of officers for committing such acts”.
As he said, “in a situation where we have a person who is in a very difficult situation for him, the police, instead of helping him, begin to perform various activities that deeply interfere with his personal dignity.”
Bodnar stressed that the chief of police did not mention this at all in his statement.
Bodnar: We already know almost every detail of Joanna’s life, and it shouldn’t be like that
The former ombudsman noted that the theme of the press conference of the Chief of Police “who discloses information that is subject to psychiatric secrecy” is also important.
– Now, as the public opinion, we know almost every detail of Joanna’s life, and this should not be the case – he noted.
When asked if they wanted to show Mrs. Joanna as a person with problems, and perhaps unreliable, he replied that “first of all”. – And secondly, please note that in every case where we are dealing with serious allegations against the police, there is a practice of refuting the allegations and building an alternative story, all the time emphasizing that a given boss trusts the professionalism and competence of his subordinate policemen – said Bodnar.
– What’s more, even when we have obvious cases, for example of violence during demonstrations, unnecessary detentions, later politicians and the chief of police use the same narrative – he added.
He said that “the police have changed their role”. “Instead of helping, he is doing justice or doing injustice, without waiting for any court rulings, whether it’s legal or not.”
Bodnar: the situation in Hungary shows symbolically where we can find ourselves
Bodnar was also asked in “Fakty po Faktach”, what’s next with the rule of law, human rights and women’s rights in Poland.
– I think that the only answer is the parliamentary elections, which will decide all this – he said. “Maybe I’ll use an example I heard recently. We are often compared to Hungarianthat our democracy or our political system can keep slipping towards authoritarianism. If the elections give the mandate of the United Right or the United Right plus the Confederation to continue governing, then all these further changes regarding the media, women’s rights, courts, and the prosecutor’s office will proceed – he said.
– I recently learned that no independent newspaper is printed in Hungary – added the guest of “Fakty po Faktach”. – That is, if we have those weeklies that are still independent, two or three weeklies, you have to ask the printing house in other countries – in Austriain Slovakia, in the Czech Republic, v Germanyto print there, because no printing house in Hungary will dare to print anything that is contrary to the interests of Viktor Orban – said Bodnar.
– In my opinion, this is a small thing, because of course someone would tell me: the common market, the flow of goods, no problem, but it symbolically shows where we can find ourselves, that we will be increasingly locked in some very small enclaves of debate, while we will be deprived of freedom, and judges and prosecutors will be even further humiliated or even deprived of their positions for their independence – he assessed.
The TVN24 guest added that the parliamentary elections “have to be won by the democratic opposition to turn back from this course towards authoritarianism”.
Main photo source: TVN24