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Ursus. The symbol of the Women’s Strike on the flag of Poland. The police returned the flag, the prosecution discontinued the investigation

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The lightning bolt flag, symbol of the Women’s Strike, returned to its owner on Monday. The police released it to him from the material evidence store after almost 11 months of storage. – The children want to hang it up again – a man says tvn24.pl. Earlier, the prosecutor’s office discontinued the proceedings, and the court found the police actions unlawful.

For eleven months, the flag had been in the evidence warehouse of the district headquarters in Ochota, Warsaw.

– It just so happens that I get it when I need it again. My children already want to hang her on the balcony again – says the man tvn24.pl.

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The children are crying

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Let us remind you that on December 12 last year, two policemen intervened in an apartment in Ursus. On the balcony of this apartment, a white and red flag with black lightning, the symbol of the Women’s Strike, hung for almost a month. Officers explained to the owner that they were intervening because “someone had come to the police station and filed a notification”.

According to the anonymous notifier, it was a crime described in Article 137, paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code, which reads: “Whoever publicly insults, destroys, damages or removes the emblem, banner, flag, flag or other state mark shall be subject to a penalty of restriction of liberty for up to one year”.

The intervention took place in front of the three children of the man. This is how he reported the course of events to the TVN24 reporter: – I can’t calm down all the time. What struck me the most was the behavior of the policemen. Behavior towards me and such passivity towards children who cry and do not know what is happening.

“What struck me the most was the behavior of the policemen”TVN24

The recorded video shows that the policemen put pressure on the man. They repeated that it hindered their official activities, which could constitute a crime.

Eventually, they took the flag with them, and the man learned only the next day during his visit to the police station that “all the materials had been transferred to the prosecutor’s office”.

Proceedings discontinued

At the end of September, the prosecutor’s proceedings were discontinued. The owner of the flag did not find out about the rationale behind this decision. He only received information that the prosecutor’s office had not concluded that a crime had been committed.

Even before the proceedings were discontinued, the man, together with his attorney, Bartosz Obrebski, appealed to the District Court for the Capital City of Warsaw against the actions of the policemen in his home. And the court allowed his appeal in its entirety.

The written justification, the copy of which is in the possession of tvn24.pl, shows that the court concluded that the police had searched the apartment, and not only “inspection of the place”, as it resulted from the documentation prepared by the officers.

The court noted that the law allows officers to conduct a search without the prosecutor’s decision, but only on the basis of the official ID card itself, but it must be approved later by the prosecutor.

“It is undisputed that in the present case there was no voluntary handing over of the goods [czyli flagi – red.]and the goods were seized without the prior order of the court or the prosecutor, therefore, pursuant to Article 230 paragraph 1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the act should be approved within 7 days from the date it was carried out. In the present case, no decision has been issued on this subject, therefore the detained item should be returned immediately, “judge Aneta Kulesza pointed out to the police and the prosecutor’s office.

Flag with lightningPrivate archive

Injury and ailments

The judge also stressed that any police activity should be carried out “without causing unnecessary damage and ailments”.

“In the present case, there was no indication that it was an urgent case. The flag was supposed to hang on the balcony of the apartment for a long time. Moreover, taking into account the nature of the act in question – expressing support for the nationwide women’s strike, as well as the place where the flag was displayed (apartment) and the time of intervention, it should be indicated here that it was not necessary to search the apartment and detain the property in this state. It is also worth noting that there were three young children in the apartment at that time “- the judge wrote.

She also indicated to the police that they could and should limit themselves only to taking the flag off and explaining in the proceedings whether the offense of insulting the national flag had occurred.

– I am glad that the case ends after eleven months. I hung the flag to support women, including my wife. Now it is needed again – says the man. – The children want to hang it up again – she adds.

Main photo source: Private archive



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