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Joan’s case. Police chief conference. Expert: Disclosure of certain information goes too far

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The police, when dealing with the case, should respect the patient’s dignity and intimacy. Disclosure of certain information that Joanna herself did not disclose earlier, and the knowledge of which is not necessary to understand the whole case, seems to me to be too far-reaching – said Zuzanna Ganczewska from the Legal Intervention Program of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights on TVN24. She referred to the conference of the Chief of Police, where she presented the recordings of the emergency call to Mrs. Joanna by her doctor and the receipt of the notification in this case by the police. Agata Bzdyń, a legal adviser specializing in human rights, assessed that “this is simply a secondary victimization of Joanna”.

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

Courtexamining a complaint about taking the phone and ordering its return, reminded the police that Ms. Joanna was not a suspect, nor was she even considered to be charged.

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On Thursday, the chief of the police, Jarosław Szymczyk, presented recordings at a press conference, which recorded a call to the emergency number by Joanna’s doctor and the receipt of a report in this case by the police. 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.”

READ MORE: Joan’s case. The police showed the recordings

Ganczewska: the police should respect the patient’s dignity and intimacy

Zuzanna Ganczewska from the Legal Intervention Program of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights and Agata Bzdyń, legal adviser specializing in human rights they referred on Friday in “Wstasz i Know” on TVN24 to the press conference of the chief of police and the recordings disclosed.

– When it comes to the data that was disclosed during the press conference, it should be borne in mind that the police, when referring to the case, should respect the dignity, intimacy of the patient and the woman who was subject to this intervention – said Ganczewska.

She added that “disclosure of certain information that she (Mrs. Joanna – ed.) had not disclosed before, and the knowledge of which is not objectively necessary to understand the whole matter, seems to her to be too far-reaching.”

Bzdyń assessed that “this is simply a secondary victimization of Mrs. Joanna, who revealed quite intimate details, but there was no social need that could justify such disclosure of information, or any other in this respect that would justify such an appearance by the chief of police.”

Jaroslaw Szymczyk PAP/Radek Pietruszka

“Authority somehow enjoys such activities”

Ganczewska, referring to the police intervention against Mrs. Joanna in a hospital in Krakow, said that “we can hypothesize why exactly there was such a reaction from the police, but taking into account the messages from the police and the fact that this information about abortion appeared at a very early stage in communication, it can be hypothesized that it was not without significance in connection with what actions were taken.”

Bzdyń was asked what is the purpose of police officers entering a doctor’s office and behaving in such a way when a person reporting a specific problem is under the care of specialists.

“In my opinion, there is no purpose to it, other than to bully the person, to scare them, to force them to extract the things that the police wanted from them in such a way,” she said.

– I am reminded of two cases in this situation. Firstly, the case of the prosecutor who interrogated a woman who gave birth, which, by the way, is currently adjudicating in the Supreme Court, and the second case – interrogation of the attorney Roman Giertych. So this power somehow likes to do just that. There is no respect for the patient to be able to safely receive medical help appropriate to his condition, she added.

Joanna took the abortion pill. The police came to the hospital, took her laptop and phoneRenata Kijowska/Fakty TVN

Ganczewska: it is difficult to find a rational goal

Ganczewska said that it is difficult for her to “find a rational goal for which a person who is about to take their own life would be helped to conduct such invasive and intrusive activities during their stay in the hospital, and it is also difficult to find any rational justification for this.” – Even if the police took the position that there might actually be some criminal proceedings regarding assistance in abortion and so on, I do not see much of a reason why it should be during hospitalization – she added.

She pointed to “a body check that took place right after the gynecological examination, which was very invasive.” – According to media reports, she did not comply with international guidelines on how strip checks should be carried out, which in themselves are a very intrusive action in a person’s intimacy – said Ganczewska.

– If there was any basis for conducting some proceedings, I see no obstacles why it should not be done calmly after leaving the hospital, when Joanna would feel better, and not in such conditions – she added.

Ms. Joanna, commenting on the press conference of the Chief of Police on Thursday, said: “Today I just made sure that the police were hunting me in connection with abortion. I never said that my mood was related to abortion. I did it over a week before calling the doctor.”

Main photo source: Radek Pietruszka/PAP/EPA



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