During the spring session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe that concluded last Friday, our representation (Martin Mycielski and Katarzyna Szczypska) together with Judge Maciej Ferek (reinstated after 522 days of suspension for applying the primacy of European law), discussed the rule of law and political persecution in Poland and the Palestinian Authority.
During the assembly, we spoke to many prominent members of the Council, including representatives of the Danish delegation, representatives of the Norwegian and Finnish delegations Ingjerd Schou and Kimmo Kiljunen, as well as fierce supporters of human rights like Krzysztof Śmiszek (Poland), Constantinos Efstathiou (Cyprus), Þórhildur Sunna Ævarsdóttir (Iceland) and Laura Castel Fort (Catalonia, Spain), and we highlighted the issue of the ‘original sin’ at the root of the destruction of the rule of law in Poland constantly overlooked by international institutions, as well as cases of political persecution in both Poland and the Palestinian Authority.
After intensive discussions with more than 50 MPs and with the help of Themis and IUSTITIA Judges Associations, we managed to have 4 important documents put forward:
- 2 motions for resolutions (regarding prosecution and illegal surveillance in Poland)
- 2 declarations (regarding victims of prosecution and human rights in Poland and the Palestinian Authority)
What does it mean?
- A motion for resolution, initiated by MP Krzysztof Śmiszek and supported by delegates from 14 countries, calls on the PACE to investigate the illegal surveillance of the state-owned hotel group, and put pressure on Poland to hold perpetrators like Maciej Wąsik, the head of the Interior Ministry Mariusz Kamiński, or Joachim Brudziński accountable;
- Motion for resolution, initiated by Constantinos Efstathiou, warns of Zbigniew Ziobro’s growing powers & calls on PACE & EU to look into prosecutors’ harassment of opposition, activists, journalists, and businessmen, and take them into account in EU’s dialogue with Polish authorities;
- Declaration by MPs from 4 political groups and 11 countries in defence of individual and clear victims of prosecution and harassment by the prosecutor’s office and Law and Justice government, including activists, journalists, and entrepreneurs;
- Declaration initiated by Laura Castel Fort, in defence of Lawyers for Justice – an outlawed group of lawyers providing pro bono assistance to victims of repression and human rights violation by the Palestinian Intelligence Services.
We are proud of this success and grateful to PACE for supporting us in our fight for the rule of law and for having democracy’s back.