The prosecutor’s office will have to deal with the issue of hailing nationalists at the celebrations related to the outbreak of the Warsaw Uprising. The incident happened a year ago – first the nationalists destroyed the rainbow flag and then hailed. One of the witnesses took a photo and reported it to the prosecutor’s office. First, the investigators refused to prosecute, but now the court forces them to do so. Material of the magazine “Polska i Świat”.
On August 1, 2020 in the capital, on the occasion of the anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising, images of nationalists destroying the rainbow flag were released to the media, but there was also something that the cameras did not record. – All-Polish Youth, as part of worshiping the insurgents, hailed on the street – says entrepreneur Marek Jarocki. The only photo he took then is in the hands of the prosecutor’s office – journalists do not have access to it.
The man referred to article 256 of the Criminal Code, prohibiting the promotion of fascism or any other totalitarian system, and submitted a notification of suspected crime – at the same time, he accused the policemen present on the spot of not reacting. The District Prosecutor’s Office in Piaseczno refused to initiate an investigation.
– This was the only argument of the prosecutor’s office that the so-called hailing is not promoting fascism, but only a reference to the salute of Roman soldiers – says Marek Jarocki. The entrepreneur appealed against the decision to the court and won. The prosecutor’s office will have to deal with the case.
The court orders an investigation to be opened
“It is commonly believed that 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 a reference to Roman culture, and not necessarily fascist regimes), has no historical foundation ( …). It was an important element of the Nazi culture (…) “- stated the court in the justification.
The prosecutor’s office in Piaseczno did not respond to the request for comment. – It is not known whether to laugh or cry, because of course it is good that the court reversed the prosecutor’s decision and ordered the initiation of the proceedings, but why it had to be based on the court – says Anna Tatar from the Never Again association.
– I appreciate such a ruling. When it comes to the social feeling, it is obvious what this gesture brings with it, emphasizes Marcin Wiącek, the spokesman for civil rights.
The prosecutor’s office does not inform about the scale of hate crimes
The ombudsman announces that he will take action in similar cases. Especially that anti-fascist organizations are alarming – there are more and more public prosecutor’s dismissals. They cite the example of the prosecutor’s office in Białystok, which recognized that the swastika painted on the wall is a Hindu symbol of happiness. – Matters related to hatred, propagation of fascism, Nazism are simply downplayed – assesses Tatar.
– It is interpreted at the moment that they are some nonsense notifications made by overzealous organizations like ours – says Konrad Dulkowski from the Center for Monitoring Racist and Xenophobic Behavior. What’s the scale? It is not known, because the prosecutor’s offices do not inform about it. – These are not cases, this is a need to prove that there is no increase in the number of hate crimes under the PiS rule. If we refuse to initiate proceedings, these statistics will not increase – adds Dulkowski.
The only statistics are those made available by the police – Article 256 proceedings initiated and identified crimes. We will not find out how many cases concerning the promotion of fascism were refused to initiate an investigation, for example, using the argument of the Roman salute. – It happens that the proceedings are discontinued on the basis of such arguments. I am against this type of practice – says Marcin Wiącek. – It is good that the courts uphold the values - he adds.
The court in Marek Jarocki’s case ordered that the main person be heard. He is still waiting for a call from the prosecutor’s office.
Main photo source: TVN24