Ukrainian activist Lyudmyla Kozlovska, President of the Open Dialogue Foundation and wife of Bartosz Kramek, is again allowed to enter Poland. The ban lasted more than five years.
Last year on 13 December, the Provincial Administrative Court in Warsaw issued a judgement ordering the Head of the Office for Foreigners to immediately remove Lyudmyla Kozlovska from the list of undesirable persons on the territory of both Poland and other Schengen countries, Onet reported on Thursday. The judgement is not final.
Lyudmyla Kozlovska, President of the Open Dialogue Foundation, was included in the list of undesirable persons in Poland in 2018. “In 2018, after many years, I was expelled from Poland at the personal request of Mariusz Kamiński and Maciej Wąsik, who controlled the Polish services,” Kozlovska comments in an interview with Onet.
“I hope that in the new political situation, the administrative bodies will comply with the court’s judgement and end the malicious, political persecution of activists,” she adds.
Kozlovska and Kramek fell afoul of the authorities
She links her entry ban to the appeal “Let the State Come to a Stop: Let’s Shut Down the Government!” published a year earlier on social media by her husband, also an activist, Bartosz Kramek.
According to the authorities, the appeal was supposed to, among other things, call for bloodshed, although there was not a word about it. It addressed the reform of the judiciary and referred to the experience of the Ukrainian Maidan and “how to stop the Law and Justice party’s assault on the rule of law in Poland”.
At the time, a fiscal inspection of the Foundation’s activities was initiated at ODF on the instructions of former Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski. It was handled by the Customs and Tax Office in Łódź, where the minister’s brother Tomasz Waszczykowski was head of one of the departments. “The officials explicitly admit that ODF’s funding was fully used to fulfil its statutory objectives in the field of human rights,” Onet stated.
In addition to audits at the Foundation in recent years, there has also been, among other things, the detention of Bartosz Kramek by the Internal Security Agency. “PiS has been trying to separate us since 2018 and deliberately banned me from entering Poland. Now, by arresting Bartek, they know that I won’t be able to be there to defend him. This is exactly what authoritarian dictators do,” said Kozlovska at the time.
Now that the court has decided to remove her from the list of undesirable persons, she hopes that change will come with the new government. “The new government and parliament should take up the issue of rehabilitating those persecuted and harassed by the previous authorities, who are still facing criminal charges brought by the most disposable and discredited prosecutors, such as Jerzy Ziarkiewicz,” comments Kozlovska.
Her husband spoke in a similar vein. “From our perspective, this judgment is precedent-setting. For the first time, the court not only overruled the decisions of the Mazovian Voivode and the Head of the Office for Foreigners, but actually ordered the ban on my wife’s entry into Poland to be cancelled. This is bitter justice, as it comes only after six years of struggle,” he tells Onet.
In other media:
- Notes From Poland: Court overturns Ukrainian NGO head’s Poland entry ban introduced by former government (January 5, 2024)
- Gazeta Wyborcza: Lyudmyla Kozlovska regains right to stay in Poland after six years (January 5, 2024)
- Onet: Lyudmyla Kozlovska has the right to stay in Poland. Landmark judgment of the administrative court (January 4, 2024)
- OKO.press: PAC: Lyudmyla Kozlovska no longer an undesirable (January 4, 2024)