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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Media and freedom of speech in Poland. State Department report

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The US Department of State has published its annual report on human rights in Poland, which covers, among others, topics related to the media and freedom of speech. In the document, which analyzed the year 2022, the State Department broadly discussed the problems faced by the media in Poland.

The chapter entitled “Freedom of expression, including representatives of the press and other media” begins with a description of the takeover of regional newspapers, owned by Polska Press, by the state-owned giant PKN Orlen. This happened in 2021, but the authors of the report indicated that in 2022 the court dismissed the complaint of the Ombudsman regarding the takeover of the publishing house.

The report describes the 19-month process of extending the license for TVN24. The judgment of the court was noted, which ruled that the delay KRRiT was a serious violation of the law.

Limiting the work of journalists

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The report also describes restrictions on journalists related to the crisis on the border with Belarus. There have been reports that journalists have been subjected to violence, harassment or intimidation by the authorities because of their work. The experts discussed the case detention of photojournalists in the village of Wiejki, but also other examples, including the detainment of a French-German Arte TV crew that was mistakenly in the zone state of emergency.

The report also mentions charges for defamation received by Marta Lempart for calling Border Guard officers “murderers in uniforms”, the trial of Jakub Żulczyk for insulting the president, and cases of website blocking.


Main photo source: Leszek Szymanski/PAP

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