Since April 2018, the Warsaw entrepreneur has been laying a wreath in front of the monument on Piłsudski Square every month on the anniversary of the Smolensk disaster. He places a plaque on it blaming Lech Kaczyński for the victims’ deaths. So far, the wreath has been removed by the police or army, although the Supreme Court’s verdict ruled that the content of the plaque was not offensive. Who is Zbigniew Komosa, who so upset Jarosław Kaczyński that he personally disassembled the wreath on Tuesday?
On the 10th day of each month, Zbigniew Komosa takes part in the Smolensk monthly. However, he and other activists are not allowed to attend official state celebrations taking place at Piłsudski Square in Warsaw. The main person at these meetings is the most important person in PiS, i.e. President Jarosław Kaczyński. A wall of police officers has been separating the leader of the ruling party from opposition activists and their happenings for years.
A wreath from those who do not agree to the “Smolensk lie”
On October 10, Komosa, as always, came to Piłsudski Square.
– As I do every month, I laid a wreath from citizens who do not agree to the Smolensk lie spread by the United Right. The content on the wreath, which is placed under the “Smolensk Steps”, indicates Lech Kaczyński’s guilt in the Smolensk disaster – explains Komosa. The full text of the plaque reads as follows: “In memory of the 95 victims of Lech Kaczyński, who, ignoring all procedures, ordered the pilots to land in Smolensk in extremely difficult conditions. Rest in peace. Polish nation.” There is also a note at the bottom: “Stop creating false heroes.”
On Tuesday, after laying a wreath, activists went to a nearby cafe. – After a few minutes, our friend informed us that… Jarosław Kaczyński returned to Piłsudski Square. We were very surprised because he does not usually appear at Piłsudski Square after state celebrations. All the more so because the police cordons are already relaxed and he does not have proper protection, which consists of hundreds of policemen – Komosa further describes.
He and his friends decided to check for themselves why the PiS president returned there with the police. They saw Jarosław Kaczyński getting into a limousine and driving away. According to the entrepreneur, the frame attached to the wreath was broken and the glass was broken. Everything was located two or three meters away from the wreath.
The activist learned from witnesses that – as he stated – “the president of PiS, in front of the police and with their full support and protection, destroyed and broke the wreath (the plaque – ed.), and then attacked one of the people – a man who was recording this event “.
– The police did not react to this purely hooligan act – said Zbigniew Komosa.
He secured the evidence and took it to the police
– I asked the police to call police technicians to secure evidence of this crime. After about half an hour they showed up. They made photo documentation. I also asked them to take their fingerprints off the frame and the board, he further described.
Then the policemen went back to the car and drove away. Komosa collected the evidence himself, “through a plastic bag” and brought it to the police station at Wilcza Street. – In order to report the committing of a hooligan offense and the crime of insulting the place of commemoration committed by Jarosław Kaczyński – he explained.
He also asked the police to take his fingerprints and add them to the case file. In response, he received a document confirming receipt of the notification.
We managed to establish that the police received two reports. One concerns insulting the monument by placing a damaged wreath in front of it. The second one concerns the destruction of the wreath, which was estimated at PLN 400.
Every month he lays a wreath in front of the monument
Why has an activist been appearing on the 10th of every month for five years now and laying a wreath at the monument to the victims of the disaster? On what basis does he blame the late president Lech Kaczyński for it? – What drives me? Lack of consent to build the history of my homeland based on theories that are not supported by facts – he said in the program “Black on white”, referring to the hypotheses of an assassination attempt or conspiracy. – It was never my intention to insult anyone. I do not agree with that. I pay homage and memory on the plaque attached to the wreath, he said.
Problems with the services appeared when he wanted to lay a wreath for the first time – on April 10, 2018 – at the unveiling of the monument at Piłsudski Square. However, Zbigniew Komosa was not allowed to attend the official celebration of the eighth anniversary of the disaster. – I was not on the list, only people specially selected by the party could enter. So I came there the next day and laid a wreath at the monument, outside the state ceremonies, he recalled.
To his surprise, the soldiers soon took the wreath away. – I caught them red-handed – he described. When asked why this happened, the officer on duty of the Warsaw garrison replied that “it contained suspicious materials” and was taken for pyrotechnic inspection.
The entrepreneur was charged with several dozen charges for insulting the monument by laying a wreath with a plaque with the content quoted above.
“The government wants to censor society and the ability to demonstrate”
Warsaw lawyer Jerzy Jurek admits that he defended Komosa in numerous trials regarding charges of insulting the Smolensk monument, which were held before the Warsaw-Śródmieście District Court. – They all ended in acquittal. The prosecutor’s office appealed in these trials. The case was also considered by the Supreme Court, which stated that placing such a wreath in that place was a legally permissible activity, the lawyer said.
How did he assess Tuesday’s situation at Piłsudski Square? – All the persecution that Mr. Zbigniew suffered due to his demonstrations is due to the fact that, in the name of building the myth of the attack, those in power want to censor opinion (public opinion – ed.), they want to censor society and the possibility of demonstrating. That’s why the wreaths were previously taken away by force by the army. That is why Mr. Zbigniew was accused many times. Apparently, Mr. Jarosław Kaczyński decided that he had the right to censor the opinions that he expressed on behalf of many people in that place – said attorney Jurek.
In his opinion, the situation involving the PiS president was hooligan in nature. And considering that it took place in a public place, we have a “gross disregard of the legal order.” – I appeal to the police to initiate 24-hour proceedings in a case of hooliganism. I appeal to Mr. Jarosław Kaczyński to waive his immunity. He repeatedly emphasized that everyone is equal before the law, the lawyer added.
Can you lay a wreath in front of the monument?
Konkret24 checked whether a citizen can always lay a wreath in front of any monument of their choice located in a publicly accessible area. – If it doesn’t offend anyone, then by all means – replied Eliza Rutynowska, lawyer of the Civic Development Forum. – Monuments are there to honor memory – she added.
Why were there cases of the army removing the wreath? – The removal of the wreath in question and its securing and handing over to police officers resulted solely from the offensive content of the inscription placed on the wreath – explained Konkret24, Lt. Col. Tomasz Sewastynowicz, press spokesman of the Warsaw Garrison Command.
Main photo source: TVN24