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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Wroclaw. After the press conference, the police wrote down Krzysztof Śmiszek, a member of the Left

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In Wrocław, the police intervened after a press conference by MP Krzysztof Śmiszek from the Left. The incident took place in the market. As the politician explained, according to the officers, he organized an illegal assembly. The police issued a statement on Wednesday saying that the intervention of the officers was related to the picket report.

The event took place after a press conference on the suspension by the Ministry of Culture of the recruitment of new students to the 60-year-old Post-Secondary School of Culture Animators SKiBA. Representatives of the study appeared at the conference. A total of over 30 people. Krzysztof Śmiszek announced that he would submit a parliamentary question regarding the subsidy for the school. Then the politician gave interviews to the media. When they finished their conversations with him, a patrol approached the deputy – four policemen and two city guards. He was asked to identify himself and asked why he had come here.

“Interesting new customs… I guess someone didn’t like the topic of the conference. Well, I’m still doing my job! And I won’t let go of the liquidation of the SKiBA art school in Wrocław!” he wrote on Twitter.

“I think it’s a sign from the government.”

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– I would like to ask Mrs. Marshal whether it is a normal procedure that today, before the elections, opposition deputies who criticize the government’s moves are questioned. In my opinion, this is some kind of a sign from the authorities, using the police officers, that we are looking at you, we are watching what you do, what conferences you are doing, we are looking at your hands. Maybe next time you will consider whether to hold such a conference, where the subject is criticism of the current rulers? – comments Krzysztof Śmiszek.

As he says, it’s not about his well-being, but whether an MP has the right to publicly express a critical opinion about the government and “implement his mandate without fear.”

The MP criticized the government at the conference, he was written off. “Is this normal procedure?”28.06.TVN24

Is a press conference an assembly? The lawyer has no doubts

According to the law, a public meeting attended by about 30 people should be notified. However, as officials and lawyers argue, a press conference is not a public meeting.

– A press conference cannot be called a public meeting under any circumstances. Just like in the market, many people observe a mime, this is also not a public gathering and it is not subject to the act on public gatherings at all. And the fact that it was a press conference was seen by everyone. Even if random passers-by stopped because they were interested in a speaker or editors or television camera operators – they are not participants in any assembly. Therefore, the presence of random people can never be a reason for any police intervention – argues advocate Krzysztof Budnik from the Budnik, Posnow and Partners law firm.

Press conference vs. public meeting.  The lawyer explains the difference

Press conference vs. public meeting. The lawyer explains the difference28.06.TVN24

Police Statement

The police initially refused to answer questions about the reason for the MP’s identification and possible further steps in this case. As stated by our editorial office, they have 14 days to answer questions on this matter.

However, later she issued a statement in which she stated that the duty officer of the Municipal Police Headquarters in Wrocław received a telephone notification from the Wrocław City Guard before 11.30 am that a “picket” is currently taking place at Plac Gołębi. The report indicated that 20 to 30 people were to attend.

“The intervention was accepted for implementation because on that day the Wrocław Police had no information about the planned legal assembly. So a patrol was sent to the site to verify the content of the notification and take appropriate action. The officers did not confirm that there were any violations of the law and on this the activities have been completed – without applying any legal measures,” the statement reads.

As it was written, the officers of the Wrocław police who intervened on the spot, in connection with the report submitted by the Municipal Guard in Wrocław, regarding the event taking place on pl. Pigeon “pickets”, proceeded to verify it and, as it turned out, identified Mr. Krzysztof Śmiszek, Member of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland.

“The conversation was aimed at determining whether there had been an earlier assembly, because at the time of the intervention – there were no other people there. The MP explained that he was organizing a conference in this place and also presented the subject of this meeting. Due to the fact that the intervening police officers they did not find any violations of the law, withdrew from further action and ended the intervention there, the police said.

“It should be emphasized that intervention notifications are registered and both the policemen and the duty officer, when accepting the notification, had no knowledge of who the intervention concerned or what the nature of the meeting of the ‘picket’ participants was. Therefore, the information appearing in some media that it was the subject of the intervention, or the reason for it, while the act of checking documents is a standard procedure applicable to officers, also in the case of public figures, “the police statement reads.

As TVN24 reporter Olga Mildyn emphasized, press conferences of local politicians of various political options are regularly held on the Wrocław market square. So far, none of them have reported that any of them were listed.

In turn, the Wrocław City Hall reported that they had received one notification regarding a press conference over the last two years. However, it was connected with the protest.

Main photo source: private archive of Krzysztof Śmiszek

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