Piotr R., Wojciech O. and Marcin O. are the organizers of the march in Kalisz (Greater Poland Voivodeship), during which anti-Semitic and xenophobic statements were made. The men heard the charges and were arrested. On Tuesday, the court is considering complaints against this preventive measure. The sitting on Piotr R. has just ended.
The Kalisz court examines appeals against the arrest of Piotr R., Wojciech O. and Marcin O. These are the three organizers of the march that passed the streets of Kalisz (Greater Poland Voivodeship) on November 11. Anti-Semitic and xenophobic statements were made during the demonstrations. Today, a dozen or so people have gathered in front of the court building, who declare their solidarity with the detained and want to enter the building. The police prevent them from entering. There are several police cars in the vicinity of the court.
Before 1 p.m. the first hearing concerning Piotr R. ended. The court allowed the change of the preventive measure from pre-trial detention to bail. The amount of the guarantee is not yet known.
They face up to five years in prison
Piotr R., Wojciech O. and Marcin O. were arrested on November 15 and transferred to the prosecutor’s office, where they all heard accusations of public incitement to hatred on the basis of national differences, insulting a population group due to their national and religious affiliation and public incitement to commit crimes against people because of their national and religious affiliation.
On November 16, the suspects were arrested for three months. The requests for pre-trial detention were justified, inter alia, by the fear of fraudulent proceedings on the part of the suspects and hiding or even fleeing to avoid criminal liability. The men are facing up to five years in prison for the alleged actions.
A shocking march and no stops
On November 11, a march organized by the nationalists went through the streets of Kalisz. According to the police, about a thousand people took part in the first part of the event. The participants of the event, raising anti-Semitic slogans, marched to the Main Market Square, where the text of the Kalisz Statute was burned – a tolerance privilege for Jews issued by the prince of Kalisz, Bolesław the Pious in 1264. During the march and demonstration, the policemen identified 67 people in total, two of them received tickets for 100 zlotys. No one was arrested then. The lack of detentions aroused much controversy. Just like the lack of a decision by the city president to dissolve the assembly. The president of Kalisz submitted a notification to the prosecutor’s office about the possibility of committing a crime by the organizers of the event.
A few days later, the prosecutor’s office received a notification about the possibility of committing a crime failure to fulfill official duties by the mayor of the city and the commander of the city police in connection with the march on November 11 in Kalisz. They were submitted by the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in the Republic of Poland and the “Never Again” Association.
“We are deeply moved and outraged”
What happened in Kalisz is the subject of many discussions. He condemned anti-Semitic and xenophobic behavior President Andrzej Duda, representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Interior and Administration Mariusz Kamiński. They also expressed their opposition to the spread of hatred representatives of Christian churches and communities, The Board of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in the Republic of Poland and the Chief Rabbi.
The statement was also published by the Community of Conscience – Coalition of Mutual Respect. It is a group of twelve people coming from various religious communities and organizations representing minorities. “We are deeply moved and outraged by the anti-Semitic slogans that were proclaimed during the Independence Day celebrations in Kalisz on November 11. (…) we feel obliged to express unequivocal objection to the words of hatred expressed against the Polish Jewish community and incitement to commit a crime. (…) That is why we show solidarity with the Polish Jewish community and call on everyone to show the same solidarity, “the statement said.
The inhabitants of Kalisz, who took part in a peaceful demonstration, also expressed their opposition to what happened on November 11 “Kalisz free from fascism”.
Main photo source: Polish police