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Profeto Foundation. Human Rights Ombudsman Marcin Wiącek examines the circumstances of the arrest of priest Michał O.

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The Internal Security Agency and the police are conducting detailed inspections at the request of the Commissioner for Human Rights, who wants to verify the circumstances of the arrest of Father Michał O., president of the Profeto Foundation. – There is no indication of abuse – say tvn24.pl's interlocutors from these formations.

Spokesman Marcin Wiącek wants to verify the information provided, among others, by the weekly “Sieci” regarding what was supposed to happen to Father Michał O. after his arrest.

– We received a letter from the Commissioner for Human Rights last Friday, and our control department was immediately activated – says the spokesman for the Warsaw Police Headquarters, Sub-Inspector Robert Szumiata.

– The Internal Security Agency fully cooperates with the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights, emphasizes Jacek Dobrzyński, spokesman for the minister-coordinator of special services.

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In the chimney and hood

We have established the circumstances of the arrest of Father Michał O., which took place on March 26. It took place in a small town in Małopolska, on the private property where the vice-president of the Profeto Foundation, Ewelina Zamojska-Banaszyk, lives.

– The operation was prepared in a standard manner. This means that the previous evening the officers had to make sure that this was where the suspect would go to sleep. Safety was ensured so that nothing happened to him or the vice-president of the foundation during the arrest itself – says our interlocutor, asking to remain anonymous.

Then the ABW team took the priest to the headquarters of the foundation he headed, where they conducted another search. Because of the distance – about 350 kilometers – the officers stopped along the way at the priest's request.

In the statement by the Commissioner for Human Rights, the doubts were expressed in the following way: “the detainee was supposed to use the toilet in handcuffs, with the door open and in the presence of officers. Then the officers took him to the shopping hall of the station, where they stayed with him for several minutes in the presence of numerous bystanders, not reacting to them taking photos of the convoy.”

Our interlocutor explains this way: – At the station, he was wearing civilian clothes, a chimney and a hood so that no one could recognize him as a clergyman. The team wanted to spare him any possible unpleasantness from outsiders – says our source, adding that such an unusual situation naturally arouses interest.

Back in March, attorney Krzysztof Wąsowski, the priest's defense attorney, assessed the actions of the ABW officers in the following way, based on the words of his client: “He informed me that his 'guardians' from the ABW behaved very 'humanely', for which he is grateful to them, and that he had not eaten all Tuesday until our meeting, because for health reasons he cannot eat wheat food.”

Eventually he was taken to a police detention center located in the building of the Warsaw Police Headquarters, where he spent the night. From that moment on, the ABW officers had no contact with him. To the prosecutor's office – where the priest heard a series of criminal charges and then was escorted to the detention hearing in court by police officers.

The situation is “down”

Ombudsman wants detailed explanations regarding the events that took place in the police detention center.

“After being placed in the room, he was not instructed about his rights and did not have access to the regulations for the stay of persons in the PDoZ (…) not a single meal was served and water was given only once, using a previously used plastic bottle. The detainee was also allegedly deprived of access to sanitary facilities for a long period of time and was only given two dirty blankets to sleep on, without a mattress or pillow” – reads a fragment of the Ombudsman's statement.

The spokesman for the Warsaw Police, Sub-Inspector Robert Szumiata, declares that, by decision of the Commander of the Warsaw Police, Dariusz Walichowski, the control department has been checking – since Monday – the details of the police officers' actions.

– There is no indication of abuse at the moment. It's just that our hole is not the Hilton – says an officer from the Warsaw Police Headquarters, asking to remain anonymous.

A series of criminal charges

The next day – March 27 – the police escorted Father Michał O. to the prosecutor’s office and then to court. In the prosecutor’s office, he faced a series of criminal charges, which were later expanded.

Additional charges against priest Michał O. and former deputy director of the Justice Fund

The court decided that the prosecutor's office had substantiated the crimes committed by Michał O. and decided to arrest the priest president of the Profeto foundation for three months. The court then agreed to extend the arrest for another three months.

In connection with the arrest and detention of Father Michał O., the members of Sovereign Poland have planned a protest for Tuesday in front of the Sejm. In their opinion, the arrested priest is being subjected to torture.

Author:Robert Zielinski

Main image source: Damian Klamka/East News

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