Rzeczpospolita daily published an article by Izabela Kacprzak and Marcin Pieńkowski about the mass-scale campaign to intimidate people associated with the Open Dialogue Foundation. Hacker attacks and threats addressed to its employees and volunteers – this is how Kazakh and Russian services, by fair means of foul, respond to inconvenient criticism.
‘We have been a target of attacks from the beginning of our existence. We have informed the Internal Security Agency (ABW) but we have not received any confirmation that anything has been done with regard to our case’ – said Bartosz Kramek, Chair of the Foundation’s Council, cited by Rzeczpospolita. Unlike the ABW, Marcin Święcicki is not ignoring the threat. In the view of the MP of the Citizens’ Platform party (PO), the matter should be dealt with by Polish security services.
Interest in the Foundation on the part of Russian journalists has also been confirmed by Mateusz Piskorski, who often appears in Russian media as a commentator.
‘We have been a target of attacks from the beginning of our existence. We have informed the Internal Security Agency (ABW) but we have not received any confirmation that anything has been done with regard to our case’ – said Bartosz Kramek
The attacks at the Foundation’s staff intensified after the outbreak of Maidan. Open Dialog was the first foreign NGO to put up a tent in the centre of Kiev and provide support to the protesters. With the intensification of the conflict, the help was extended to include Ukrainian militaries. ODF’s activity triggered a wave of persecutions of people associated with it – obituaries were put up to falsely announce the death of one of the volunteers and leaflets were distributed which accused the Foundation’s members of paedophilia and labelled them fascists.
One of the fronts of Russian propagandists is internet forums which are flooded with expressions such as “Judeo-Bandera followers”. Also, Natalia Panchenko, associated with the Foundation and, at the same time, the Chair of EuroMaidan Warsaw, became the victim of unrefined verbal abuse. Threats were also addressed at Lyudmyla Kozlovska and Bartosz Kramek, leaders of the Foundation. A stranger pestered them in their private apartments suggesting that they might be beaten up or even abducted. A complaint was filed with the prosecutor’s office back in October last year. An investigation is pending.
On behalf of the Foundation, we wish to thank Rzeczpospolita daily and the authors of the article for taking up the theme. We thank the MP Marcin Święcicki for his positive opinion on our activities. We do hope that the Polish prosecution authorities and the competent services will be following the matter closely.
Rzeczpospolita (19.02.15), title of the article: Zastraszyć Otwarty Dialog (Intimidating Open Dialog), authors: Izabela Kacprzak, Marcin Pieńkowski;