The ombudsman for civil rights, Marcin Wiącek, applied to the prosecutor’s office for statistics on proceedings in cases related to the promotion and praise of fascist ideology. At the same time, he expressed concern at the reports of a refusal to initiate proceedings in one of these cases.
As reported on the website of the Human Rights Defender, Marcin Wiącek addressed the matter with a letter to the National Prosecutor Bogdan Święczkowski.
The spokesman emphasized that praising and promoting Nazi ideology should be met with a consistent response from law enforcement agencies. He added that according to media reports, some prosecutors still support the view that the public gesture of a “fascist greeting” was not a crime.
The Commissioner for Human Rights intervenes in the matter of “hailing” on the anniversary of the outbreak of PW
As reported, in this context, the Ombudsman was concerned about the media’s refusal to initiate proceedings by the District Prosecutor’s Office in Piaseczno regarding the promotion of the fascist system of the state – the so-called “hajlowania” during the anniversary of the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising on August 1, 2020 in Warsaw.
Referring to information from the media, the Human Rights Defender noted that the prosecutor, justifying the refusal to initiate the proceedings, considered that “hailing” did not constitute promotion of fascism, but referred to the salute of Roman soldiers.
“When examining the complaint against this decision, the court overturned the contested decision. It rightly stated that ‘in the general public perception, the gesture in the form of the straightened right arm is a reference to fascist symbolism. The view presented by the prosecutor that it had its source in ancient Rome (and thus constituted reference to Roman culture, and not necessarily fascist regimes), there is no historical foundation (…). It was an important element of Nazi culture, “the Commissioner for Human Rights pointed out.
The Commissioner for Human Rights asks the prosecutor to analyze the cases in which the investigation was refused
Referring to the information provided by the media, the Human Rights Defender assessed that some prosecutors still endorse the view that the public performance of the fascist greeting gesture would be indifferent from the point of view of criminal law.
Wiącek also noted that in many cases, the promotion of fascism was met with a proper response from the prosecutor’s office. At the same time, he asked the prosecutor Święczkowski to conduct an analysis of this type of case, in which the proceedings ended with a refusal to initiate an investigation which was legally concluded in 2020 and 2021. The Defender also asked for statistics on proceedings in these cases, which ended in the last seven years with refusal to initiate or discontinued them due to the lack of features of a prohibited act – as well as the number of indictments.
Main photo source: PAP / Marcin Obara