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Warsaw. The National Prosecutor's Office investigated proceedings regarding assemblies in 2016-2023

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Breaking the arm of a demonstrator in front of the police station at Wilcza Street, attacking the participants of the protest against the Constitutional Tribunal's ruling by an Internal Security Agency officer, and pepper spraying the then MP Magdalena Biejat. The National Prosecutor's Office reviewed proceedings regarding incidents during public gatherings in 2016-2023. “The analysis revealed irregularities,” it was reported.

As we read in the announcement of the National Prosecutor's Office, in February 2024, Minister of Justice Adam Bodnar received “an appeal signed by Lech Wałęsa and a group of outstanding personalities of Polish social life to review and analyze cases in which there is any suspicion that they may have been politically motivated.”

“In fulfillment of the commitment made to the signatories of the Appeal, the Prosecutor General ordered, among other things, an examination of the validity of substantive decisions taken in several dozen cases regarding the possibility of committing crimes against and by participants of marches organized by socially active organizations in 2016-2023″ indicated.

Marches, repressions and street protests

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As mentioned, the analysis concerned, among others, marches organized by Committee for the Defense of Democracy Whether National Women's Strikebut also Independence March from 2017. “Participation in these marches was an exercise by citizens of their constitutional right to assembly and freedom of speech,” we read further.

Nationalist slogans at the nationalists' marchGettyImages

The prosecutor's office justified that “proceedings that could meet the criteria of this category of cases were conducted in prosecutor's office units within the jurisdiction of the Regional Prosecutor's Office in Warsaw.”

“These cases concerned, for example, events during which the freedom of action was restricted or the activity of social activists and leaders of non-governmental organizations was stopped. Cases of attempts to repress representatives of the LGBTQ+ community, organizers of the Equality March, representatives of ethnic or national minorities, as well as people and organizations supporting refugees on the Polish-Belarusian border,” it was mentioned.

equality Parade UM Warszawa

The PK added that the investigated cases also included “criminal and legal repression applied against people who participated in street protests and public meetings organized in response to the actions of the then authorities, perceived and assessed by citizens as violating the rule of law and rights and freedoms.”

The last category of cases examined were cases of public promotion of the totalitarian state system by event organizers.

“The analysis showed irregularities”

As emphasized, in the vast majority of cases the cases were concluded with final decisions refusing to initiate proceedings or discontinuing them.

“The re-analysis initiated by the decision of the Prosecutor General showed irregularities in the collection of evidence, premature decision to end the proceedings, and in some cases even failure to take any actions aimed at clarifying the circumstances of the event and detecting the perpetrator,” it was emphasized.

“These arrangements made it possible to revoke some of the legally binding decisions on the discontinuation of proceedings, using the procedure provided for in Article 327 § 1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which enables these proceedings to be conducted anew,” it was explained.

Discontinued preparatory proceedings may be resumed at any time by the prosecutor's decision, provided that they are not conducted against a person who was a suspect in the previous proceedings.

Broken arm, attack on demonstrators

According to investigators, these include cases that aroused social emotions due to the lack of an appropriate response from the prosecutor's office, and “as a result, their discontinuance due to the finding that the acts that were the subject of the proceedings did not contain the elements of a prohibited act.”

“This includes the case of a participant of the so-called solidarity demonstration in Warsaw at ul. Wilcza, who she suffered a fracture of her left humerus in connection with the use of direct coercion against her by police officers. The decision to discontinue was justified by the statement that the physical force used against the injured party was adequate to the existing threat and protection of the public interest. These findings were based on incomplete evidence, and the decision was considered premature,” the PK said.

As mentioned next, another thing is hitting the demonstration participants with a car at the intersection of Puławska and Goworka streets by an officer of the Internal Security Agency.

“The decision to discontinue the proceedings was made without obtaining key evidence to clarify the circumstances of the event, and thus to make its correct criminal law assessment. This case can also be considered an example of interference by superiors in the independence of the prosecutor in the field of procedural decisions. After the prosecutor issued a decision to present the perpetrator of the event was charged with committing an act under Article 160 § 1 of the Penal Code, the proceedings were taken over by a superior entity, the decision was repealed and the case was discontinued,” it was indicated.

30/10 | An ABW officer who hit women during a protest will only be charged with a misdemeanor?YouTube/Plumbum Video

Whoever exposes a person to direct danger of loss of life or serious damage to health shall be subject to the penalty of imprisonment for up to 3 years.

Nationalists' march and pepper spray against the MP

According to the prosecutor's office, the unjustified decision to discontinue the proceedings, as well as errors in the fair conduct of the proceedings, were also found in the discontinued case regarding the public promotion of the “totalitarian state system by the organizer and participants Independence March in 2017“. “The initiation of these proceedings will allow them to be re-conducted reliably, respecting procedural guarantees, but above all, maintaining objectivity and impartiality,” the PK assured.

One more case was mentioned and is still at the stage of preparatory proceedings. It was initiated by a notification from Magdalena Biejat, a member of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland, about the suspicion of committing a crime of exceeding his powers by a plain-clothes police officer who allegedly used police force against her. pepper spray.

Undercover officers on a women's strike. A plain-clothes policeman used gas on the MPIn Warsaw, during Wednesday's women's strike, men appeared in masks and with telescopic batons in their hands. It turned out that they were policemen. Additionally, officers used tear gas against protesters. Left MP Magdalena Biejat was treated with such a measure by a plain-clothes policeman. The opposition decided to submit a motion of no confidence in the deputy prime minister responsible for security, Jarosław Kaczyński.Fakty TVN

“After initiating the proceedings and conducting evidentiary proceedings, a decision was made to discontinue them due to the failure to detect the perpetrator, however, this decision was overturned by the Court as part of the appellate review, in connection with the complaint submitted by the injured party's representative. The Court pointed out that full evidence had not been collected, which would enable the detection of the perpetrator of a crime if photographs showing the perpetrator were secured,” it was noted.

As summarized, the proceedings are currently ongoing at the District Prosecutor's Office in Warsaw.

Main photo source: TVN24, Shutterstock

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