The Open Dialogue Foundation has compiled a report in which it furnishes evidence and examples of unprecedented politicisation of the Public Prosecutor’s Office since the moment the United Right Alliance (Zjednoczona Prawica) took power in Poland in 2015.
The report provides examples of abuse of the Public Prosecutor’s Office by those in power, for whom it has become a tool serving their political and personal interests. This is done by a steady expansion of the powers of the Public Prosecutor General, who combines this function with the position of the Minister of Justice.
It manifests itself, amongst others, by a growing number of politically motivated investigations launched against those deemed to be the government’s opponents.
Authors of the report cited cases of activists persecuted by public prosecution, including above all human rights’ defenders who took action against inhumane decisions of the authorities, but also public prosecutors and judges who oppose the process of politicisation of the judiciary, seeing this as a threat to judicial independence.
They also emphasize that the politicisation of the Public Prosecutor’s Office is by no means a new phenomenon under the rule of Law and Justice, the leading party of the United Right Alliance. Already during the period from 2005 to 2007, when the Law and Justice party was in power for the first time, the prosecution, also under the leadership of Zbigniew Ziobro at that time, gained notoriety for political propaganda investigations, such as the case of Barbara Blida or doctor Mirosław Garlicki.
The examples of prosecutions currently waged by the General Prosecutor’s Office, discussed in the report, include cases of the leaders of the Women’s Strike (Marta Lempart, Klementyna Suchanow and Agnieszka Czeredecka) who organised protests following the verdict of the Constitutional Tribunal which imposed a ban on abortion and who were later charged with causing an epidemic threat during a pandemic; civic movements activists and representatives of non-governmental organisations providing aid to refugees at the Polish-Belarusian border, including Paweł and Justyna Wrab; judges such as Beta Morawiec, Igor Tuleya, Waldemar Żurek or public prosecutor Mariusz Krasoń, as well as other Lex Super Omnia prosecutors.