The list of people who have been destroyed by the authorities is long. Once the Law and Justice party gets its teeth into someone, it does not let go.
The list includes the unruly judges Beata Morawiec, Igor Tuleya and Paweł Juszczyszyn, who were stripped of their immunity by the authorities, and presented with absurd charges and their honour besmirched by government propaganda. There are unruly prosecutors who refuse to let Zbigniew Ziobro put them on a leash, and so they are sent to work in prosecutors’ offices hundreds of kilometres from their homes. There is the ombudsman Adam Bodnar. To discredit him, the propagandists have even taken aim at his child. These are unlawful actions that have the hallmarks of a flagrant abuse of power.
A months-long political and propaganda smear campaign cost the life of the mayor of Gdansk, Pawel Adamowicz, who was murdered by a hate-fuelled killer. The murderer has still not been brought to justice, and the Law and Justice party has drawn no conclusions from this tragedy. The smear campaign proceeds, and sharpens.
Bartosz Kramek and his wife Lyudmila Kozlovska, activists of the Open Dialogue Foundation, have been targeted by the services and media of the Law and Justice (PiS) state since the protests in defence of independent courts in 2017, when Kramek published a manifesto calling for the measures of the Ukrainian Euromaidan to be emulated in Poland. The authorities first tried to close down their foundation, and when that failed, in 2018, at the request of the Internal Security Agency (ABW), Kozlovska was put on the list of persons posing a threat and banned from entering the Schengen area. Kozlovska was thus separated from her husband, who was staying in Poland. It soon became apparent that neither the Polish secret services nor diplomacy were able to prove that the activist had links to Russian intelligence or posed any threat. Despite Warsaw’s protests, the activist appeared at conferences on the rule of law in several EU parliaments, and in 2019 the Belgian authorities gave her a residence permit. The PiS state, however, is not giving up. Since the authorities could not hit Kozlovska, they hit Kramek. The activist was detained on Wednesday by the Internal Security Agency on suspicion of financial crimes.
I do not know what evidence the Internal Security Agency has on Kramek. However, when it came to Kozlovska and the Schengen entry ban, the agency used forgeries produced by the Moldovan secret services. The PiS state has a strong motivation. Last year, the activist co-organised a campaign to hang anti-government billboards all over Poland with, among other things, a photo of Law and Justice MP Joanna Lichocka showing the opposition the middle finger in the Sejm.
Kramek has caused a lot of trouble for the authorities. However, the authorities are not giving up.