Joanna, as she says, did not feel concerned when she was questioned during the examination. Not when she was told to undress or when her laptop and phone were taken away. Meanwhile, police chief Jarosław Szymczyk talks about the police intervention out of concern and for protection.
Jarosław Szymczyk, the Chief Commander of the Police, defends the policemen. The order to undress, to be surrounded in the hospital, to take Joanna’s belongings, they have to explain recordings presented at a press conference when a psychiatrist called for help.
The commander assures that the policemen wanted to protect Joanna. They concluded that the abortion pills had harmed her. Suppliers were looking for them. – They protected Mrs. Joanna’s life and protected the lives of other people who might have reached for the funds that Mrs. Joanna purchased and took – said Szymczyk at the press conference.
Mrs. Joanna – as she said on Wednesday in “Fakty po Faktach” TVN24 – did not feel concerned at any stage of the intervention – on the contrary, especially when she heard that she had to undress, squat and cough. – I felt that no one was protecting me from being completely alone in this situation in which I was stripped of my dignity – said the woman on TVN24.
SEE THE MATERIAL OF “FACTS” TVN: Joanna took the abortion pill. The police came to the hospital, took her laptop and phone
Szymczyk at the conference on Thursday described the situation differently. – The policewoman asked for the possibility of also checking the lower part of the underwear, but after the information from the doctor that she had just examined these areas, the policewoman withdrew from these activities – he said.
– None of the police actions that took place in relation to Joanna are aimed at helping such a person. That’s what doctors are for – emphasizes Kamila Ferenc, Joanna’s attorney, a lawyer from the Foundation for Women and Family Planning “Federa”.
“The abuse of power is perfectly evident”
Doctors in the ER clearly signaled that the presence of policemen and their constant questions about the pills worsened the patient’s emotional state. – A very large number of patients these days, who are brought to the ER, are under the influence of drugs, illegal. I haven’t noticed that anyone is interested in where these people get these funds – says the doctor of the hospital emergency department where Joanna was sent.
In the case of Mrs. Joanna, it was about abortifacients that she brought and took herself, which is not against the law.
– The abuse of authority is quite evident. I do not know if this is not on the verge of torture – evaluates the actions of the policemen prof. Andrzej Zoll, former president of the Constitutional Tribunal and former Ombudsman. – We deal with such things in prisons, with dangerous prisoners, but not when the police, as I understand it, argue that they came to help a person. It either treats someone for help or persecutes – says prof. Adam Bodnar, former Commissioner for Human Rights.
– I suspect that this is a form of pressure for her to give the phone, which would be unacceptable, would be a violation not only of human rights, but also the prohibition of torture and inhuman, degrading treatment – adds Dr. Piotr Kładoczny from the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights.
The Chief of Police assures that “the activities were carried out correctly”.
However, the court stated in June that taking Joanna’s phone call was unfounded, and that the police officers hindered the work of doctors. The removal of items and a personal search require a prosecutor’s warrant – says prosecutor Krzysztof Parchimowicz. – Under no circumstances should the police throw themselves at Mrs. Joanna. All explanations that the police acted to protect Joanna’s life and health when she was under the care of doctors are frivolous – he points out
The head of the District Prosecutor’s Office in Krakow responds to TVN’s “Facts” that the prosecutor’s office is analyzing Joanna’s case in detail, including the actions of the officers. The Municipal Police Headquarters in Krakow has been commissioned with procedural activities – further steps of the prosecutor’s office will depend on the outcome of the work.
Main photo source: TVN Facts