Following these revelations, the deputy Minister of Justice Łukasz Piebiak resigned in August. In August, 48 protestors were detained and others met with violence and homophobic slurs from the police, Poland already has some of the strictest abortion laws in Europe. Eastern Policy. Since its election in 2015, Poland’s governing populist Law and Justice (PiS) party, now in its second term, has endeavoured to … In February, a Warsaw judge ordered the re-opening of an investigation into the case of 14 women who alleged they had been verbally and physically attacked when they unfurled a banner saying “Fascism Stop” during the Independence Day march in Warsaw in November 2017. For over four years, and despite the Article 7 proceedings launched by the European Commission against Poland in 2017, the PiS party has stopped at nothing to undermine judicial independence and politicize its courts of law. In the face of increasingly homophobic rhetoric from leading politicians, the Polish LGBTI movement has only grown in strength, with Pride marches attracting more supporters and taking place in an increasing number of towns. During the lockdown the lower house of parliament discussed a bill (which came into being after a citizen petition) to impose a near-total ban on all legal abortions. With PiS exercising control over both the presidency and the government, the most effective opposition so far has come not from the government, but from grassroots activists. Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex People. In August, media revealed links between the campaign that involved personal attacks on judges, and high-ranking officials at the Ministry of Justice. After widespread concerns voiced by experts in criminal law, the President referred the amendment to the Constitutional Tribunal for review, which was pending at year’s end. POLAND 2018 HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT . Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue. Poland is a party to several international agreements relevant to human rights, including the European Convention on Human Rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Helsinki Accords, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Poland’s government has set up a new Department of European Identity with the aim of protecting “human rights and fundamental freedoms”. The statement focused on the widespread human rights violations against lawyers in Turkey since the attempted coup in July 2016, and the ongoing ‘state-led campaign of intimidation and harassment’ against judges in Poland. According to an “. The case was pending at the end of the year. have adopted resolutions rejecting “LGBTI propaganda” and declaring themselves to be “pro family”. International organisations. Poland: Threats and retaliation against EESC member Ms. Karolina Dreszer-Smalec. The Law and Justice Party has erased the independence of the judiciary that has drawn international condemnation. Politicians at its highest levels have denounced “LGBTI ideology” as “threat” to Poland and its Christian values. Our flagship publication, recording discrimination against the non-religious globally, Learn more about the work of Humanists International, How we’re working to change the world for the better, Want to help? Delbos-Corfield says that Hungary, in particular, is guilty of attacks on academic and media freedom and the rights of NGOs operating in the country. In 2019, Humanists International used its attendance at the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM) in Warsaw – Europe’s largest human rights conference –. The PiS government also recently announced its intention to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention on combating violence against women, claiming that it “makes a number of extreme leftist assumptions”. If you are talented and passionate about human rights then Amnesty International wants to hear from you. ” map created by local activists (shown below), over a third of the country has now effectively become an “LGBTI-free zone.” While the resolutions themselves are without legal effect, they nonetheless send a menacing symbolic message to the LGBTI community: “you are not welcome here”. In addition to the erosion of fundamental human rights, democracy and the rule of law continues to deteriorate in the Polish state. Dozens of peaceful anti-government and anti-nationalism protesters continued to face criminal or administrative charges. PiS has long made the ‘defence of Christian principles’ a key aspect of its public policy. Please share this page with your networks. Judges and prosecutors who spoke out in defence of an independent judiciary continued to face politicized disciplinary proceedings. Human Rights Watch | 350 Fifth Avenue, 34th Floor | New York, NY 10118-3299 USA | t 1.212.290.4700 Human Rights Watch is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit registered in the US under EIN: 13-2875808 Here’s how you can participate in the humanist movement, Since its election in 2015, Poland’s governing populist Law and Justice (PiS) party, now in its second term, has endeavoured to systematically undermine democracy and human rights. In a ruling that has sparked outrage across the country and indeed Europe, the Constitutional Court held that abortion due to foetal defects was ‘unconstitutional’. WordPress theme developer - whois: Andy White London. A recent court decision was made to ban nearly all abortions in Poland. Here’s some specific things you can do today, The official Humanists International blog, Meetings and events for Humanists International, Toolkits, documents, maps and lists on humanism and humanist activism, Support our work and the global humanist movement with a donation, Support our goals? Concerns over push-backs of asylum-seekers at the border crossing with Belarus continued. In a small number of cases, individuals were fined for holding a protest under the legislation which gives so-called “cyclical assemblies” priority over attempts to hold counter- or spontaneous demonstrations. As Humanists International member, we call for international solidarity to stop repression and welcome the EU debate on activating art.7 procedure on rule of law, so that democratic&secular values are restored”. It referred the case to the European Court of Justice (ECJ). It is apparent that breaches of the rule of law in Poland, materialised in the longstanding concerns regarding Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal, could lead to further violations of other Article 2 TEU values: human rights, human dignity, equality and non-discrimination. We defend human rights and promote rational, democratic international law, We support our Member Organizations to build the humanist movement, How we protect humanists at risk all around the world. Earlier this month, Poland’s Catholic episcopate, the establishment of conversion clinics to help LGBTI people to “regain their natural sexual orientation.” Same-sex marriage is, With PiS exercising control over both the presidency and the government, the most effective opposition so far has come not from the government, but from grassroots activists. Polish Justice Minister, Zbigniew Ziobro, who announced that the Polish Governement is planning on withdrawing from the Istanbul Convention. Two cases were communicated by the European Court of Human Rights to the Polish government for response. - Human Rights Violations in Poland 1983-1986, A Report by the Polish Helsinki Committee for the Helsinki Review Conference in Vienna 1986, (New York: The U.S. Helsinki Watch Committee). Dozens of judges who spoke out against those changes faced disciplinary proceedings. More than 100 municipalities in Poland have adopted resolutions rejecting “LGBTI propaganda” and declaring themselves to be “pro family”. An interim decision from the ECJ from December 2018 had already ordered the Polish authorities to restore the Supreme Court to its composition before the law came into force. During his re-election campaign, Polish president Andrzej Duda, an ally of the PiS, called LGBTI rights an “ideology” more destructive than communism and pledged to “defend children” by banning “the propagation of LGBTI ideology” in schools. In Poland, the independence of the judiciary - essential for ensuring fair trials and upholding human rights - was threatened as the ruling party took bolder steps to control judges and courts. In 2016, the ECHR received 8 300 new applications from Turkey, nearly four times as many as in 2015. “We also do monitoring of conditions for youngsters in detention centers, which are pretty terrible, and … EXECUTIVE SUMMARY . Cookie Statement announced withdrawal of Poland from the Istanbul Convention, official support for the „LGBT-free zones” or inscription “God, honor, Patria” on Polish passports. In May, activist Elżbieta Podleśna was arrested and detained for several hours on suspicion of “offending religious beliefs” – a charge carrying up to two years’ imprisonment – after police claimed that they had found copies of posters depicting the Virgin Mary with her halo in the rainbow colours of the LGBTQ flag. IBAHRI oral statement on Poland to … en es fr. "We have problems with prison conditions, and I don't mean just typical prisons and jails," Bodnar continued. Human Rights Defender – Poland Contact details Postal address: Al. Kazimierz Lyszczynski Foundation is amongst the 13 Polish atheist, humanist and secular civil society organizations who signed. The government continued to implement legal and policy changes that undermined the independence of the judiciary. Earlier this month, Poland’s Catholic episcopate called for the establishment of conversion clinics to help LGBTI people to “regain their natural sexual orientation.” Same-sex marriage is already illegal in Poland. Poland already has some of the strictest abortion laws in Europe.   |   HRC can also issue resolutions condemning human rights abuses and calling states for change. The mayor was known for his support of LGBTI rights and openness towards refugees and migrants. The IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians is the only international mechanism with the remit of protecting and defending MPs suffering human right violations. A person with a public platform can be fined and even jailed for promoting anti-government activity, amorality and disrespect for religion. Judges who have spoken out against the threats to judicial independence, are frequently. In July, amid widespread anti-LGBTI rhetoric from politicians and the media, the first LGBTI pride march took place in the town of Białystok. - 1984 Violations of Human Rights in Poland , A report by the Polish Helsinki Committee, (New York: Committee in Support of Solidarity, 1985). The president and the Council of Ministers headed by the prime minister share executive power. The courts dropped charges against protesters who, among others, climbed through metal barriers that the police used to prevent them accessing the area around parliament in 2017. In the majority of cases, the courts upheld the rights of the protesters to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. Throughout the year, leading public figures, including politicians and media officials, frequently made discriminatory statements targeting minorities, including LGBTI people and Jews. Will Europe Sit Back? In light of the Polish government’s continued demonization of the LGBTI community, and its recent attacks on sexual and reproductive rights, judicial independence and the rule of law, Humanists International shares two statements from our Polish Members, and a letter signed by a coalition of Polish atheist, humanist and secular civil society organizations, calling for the restoration of democratic and secular values, accountability for police abuses and an end to human rights violations in Poland. Dr Jarosław Szymczyk, to launch an internal investigation in regards to the procedural abuses and reported Human Rights violations at Warsaw police stations on 7 and 8 August and take appropriate action against the responsible police officers without delay. Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to food - Mission to Poland (A/HRC/34/48/Add.1) Report of the Special Rapporteur on the adverse effects of the movement and dumping of toxic and dangerous products and wastes on the enjoyment of human rights - Mission to Poland (A/HRC/18/31/Add.2) Recent brutal actions of police against LGBT protesters in Warsaw are qualified as degrading and inhuman treatment in the Final Report of the Mechanism for the Prevention of Torture. Judges who have spoken out against the threats to judicial independence, are frequently threatened with state-led campaigns of intimidation, disciplinary proceedings and criminal charges. Privacy Policy The newspaper Gazeta Polska was forced by the Regional Court in Warsaw to end its campaign of distributing “LGBT-free zone” stickers after one of the organizers of Lublin’s LGBTI pride march won his complaint on grounds that the stickers were an affront to human dignity. Since its election in 2015, Poland’s governing populist Law and Justice (PiS) party, now in its second term, has endeavoured to systematically undermine democracy and human rights. Learn more about the rational, ethical worldview that is humanism, Discover a world of humanism: find your nearest group or national organization, Meet the staff, representatives and Board of Humanists International, Recognizing achievement in the worldwide humanist movement, You can reach Humanists International here, Young Humanists International is our youth section, for 18 to 35-year-olds. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. Eastern Partnership. On 20 December, the prosecutor for the second time decided to close the investigation into the women’s complaint. In February, state TV took legal action against him demanding an apology after he stated that they had been engaged in possible hate speech against the Mayor of Gdańsk. An intensive smear campaign continued throughout the year against judges defending the rule of law by state media and on social media. The courts continued to uphold the rights of peaceful protesters, including those who engaged in civil disobedience. The human rights defender presents an annual report to the Sejm on the state of human rights and civic freedom in the country. Your choice regarding cookies on this site The court held that authorities have the right to refuse granting access to information on which the decision is based, if state security is at stake. Security … The 2015 ECtHR judgments in the cases of al-Nashiri and Abu Zubaydah were not fully implemented. According to police estimates, around 1,000 participants were attacked by roughly 4,000 counter-protesters who threw fire crackers, cobblestones and eggs, shouted insults and physically assaulted some of the marchers. The governing Law and Justice party, which has implemented the changes undermining the independence of the judiciary and whose members have been increasingly using rhetoric targeting minorities, won parliamentary elections in October, retaining its majority in the lower chamber (Sejm) but losing to the opposition in the Senate. Subject: Human rights violations in Poland As of 22 October 2020, it will be virtually impossible for women in Poland to terminate a pregnancy. In February the European Court of Human Rights found that Poland had violated the right to freedom of expression. Kaja Bryx, Vice-President of the European Humanist Federation and President of Polish Rationalist Association, issued the following statement in response to recent events: “When you hear about human rights violations in Poland, barely three decades after the Solidarity movement won freedom and democracy for us, you ask yourself what exactly went wrong here. Poland's human rights problems don't end with the court system. The European Union finally struck a bargain this week to keep Poland and Hungary from blocking a landmark $2.2 trillion budget that included pandemic-era economic aid over the pact’s rule of law requirements. The bill has for the moment been shelved, but the danger of it resurfacing is ever-present.   |   Politicians at its highest levels have denounced “LGBTI ideology” as “threat” to Poland and its Christian values. Polish aid. Human rights violations in EU countries double in five years. The criminal investigation into Poland's co-operation with the CIA and the hosting of a secret detention site was still pending. For over four years, and despite the Article 7 proceedings launched by the European Commission against Poland in 2017, the PiS party has stopped at nothing to undermine judicial independence and politicize its courts of law. There were concerns over the adequacy of the police protection of the participants and the lack of safe access to the beginning of the march. The Human Rights Commissioner, Adam Bodnar, was targeted by officials and state media several times during the year. Be a part of the humanist movement – as an individual or an organization, The democratic, defining statement of world humanism, from Humanists International, How and why we mark 21 June as World Humanist Day, Our answers to your frequently asked questions about the humanist worldview, Are you a humanist? We call upon the Chief of Police in Poland, gen. insp. The case raises concerns over the right to due process in cases of deportations where national security grounds are invoked. In September, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) called on the government to take measures to end extreme poverty among Roma, and to end forced evictions of Roma and housing demolitions. You can use this tool to change your cookie settings. Yet, the court is failing to reduce human rights violations in the Kurdish region. Humanists International has followed Poland’s turn toward authoritarian illiberalism and the concurrent rise of religious conservatism with increasing concern. Nina Sankari, Vice President of Kazimierz Lyszczynski Foundation, said the following: “We condemn increasing violations of citizen’s rights in Poland, i.e. In August, 48 protestors were detained and others met with violence and homophobic slurs from the police during a peaceful protest in Warsaw. Poland’s human rights problems don’t end with the court system. Poland is a republic with a multiparty democracy. Baltic Sea. Solidarności 77, 00-090 Warsaw, Poland Website: www.rpo.gov.pl General email address: biurorzecznika@brpo.gov.pl Helpline: +48 800 676 676 and telephone number: +48 22 55 17 700 Contact person for media enquiries: Anna Kabulska (a.kabulska@brpo.gov.pl) Overview During the COVID-19 pandemic, human rights violations including censorship, discrimination, arbitrary detention and xenophobia were reported from different parts of the world. Humanist International has a strategic focus on a range of issues in our advocacy and campaigns work. On July 9 2019 twenty-two countries at the United Nations’ top human rights body issued a joint statement urging China to end its mass arbitrary detentions and related violations against Muslims in the Xinjiang region. Dozens of LGBTI activists have been arrested on the basis of an overly broad blasphemy law after a campaign involving the placement of rainbow flags on prominent public monuments, in violation of their rights of freedom of expression. The State has countered increasing grassroots activism with arrests and violence. 17/02/2020. On 5 November, the ECJ ruled that the law, which lowered the retirement age of judges and set a different retirement age depending on gender, was in breach of EU law. Although Poland is one of the 127 UN member states who voted for the adoption of the resolution on the protection of the HRDs during the 70th UN General Assembly, the state’s constitutional guarantees for respect of international human rights law, as well as the conditions for work of HRDs have been significantly threatened with the introduction of several restrictive legislative changes since Autumn … This article is more than 8 years old. threats to gender equality and the rights of women in Poland. On 5 December, the Supreme Court ruled that the new National Council of the Judiciary was appointed in a manner that does not guarantee its independence. In the face of increasingly homophobic rhetoric from leading politicians, the Polish LGBTI movement has. The PiS government also recently announced its intention to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention on combating violence against women. In 2019, Humanists International used its attendance at the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM) in Warsaw – Europe’s largest human rights conference – to highlight threats to gender equality and the rights of women in Poland. Up to 64 local councils across Poland adopted resolutions declaring their opposition to “LGBT ideology” in “defence of families [or] the rights of Catholics”. The ECJ clarified that it is up to the Supreme Court to make an assessment whether this requirement has been met. The searchable archive of past and present policy – since 1952! Human rights violations are at the root causes of conflict and insecurity which, in turn, invariably result in further violations of human rights. On 20 December, the lower chamber of the Parliament adopted another amendment further undermining judicial independence. In 2000 journalist Jacek Dlugolecki was convicted of insulting a … Humanists International is the trading name of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), a not-for-profit organization registered in New York, USA (501(c)3) and operating as a foreign company in the United Kingdom (FC020642). Amnesty International has responded that "Human rights violations hinder, rather than facilitate, responses to public health emergencies and undercut their efficiency." The case against Poland was brought by two men, Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn, a Saudi-born Palestinian known as Abu Zubaydah, and Saudi national Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. which took place in the European Parliament on 14 September on the situation in Poland. Bodnar has been a defender of individual rights in Poland during his five years in office. In addition to the erosion of fundamental human rights, democracy and the rule of law continues to deteriorate in the Polish state. In October, the EC concluded that the government’s response to its concerns that the new disciplinary regime undermines the independence of judges, was unsatisfactory. On 24 October, a district court in Warsaw quashed all charges against them, stating that they had the right to protest peacefully and express their views against fascism. state-led campaigns of intimidation, disciplinary proceedings and criminal charges. International Law. The women had challenged the prosecutor’s 2018 decision to drop the case. 17/09/2020.   |   to impose a near-total ban on all legal abortions. In June, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe noted a lack of tangible progress in the domestic investigation into the serious human rights violations, including torture and unacknowledged detention. Poland in the UN Security Council. 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