The Kozlovska Case timeline [updated]

  • 21.11.2018
  • Author: Editorial office

This is a non-exhaustive timeline of events preceding and following the expulsion of Lyudmyla Kozlovska, President of the Open Dialogue Foundation, from the EU. This list will be updated as events unfold.

21/07/2017 - Bartosz Kramek, Lyudmyla Kozlovska’s husband, publishes a post on civic disobedience on his personal Facebook page.

27/07/2017 - At the request of the Minister Coordinator for Special Services to the Minister of Foreign Affairs a series of attempts to censor and take control of the Foundation is initiated, starting with a formal request to remove Bartosz Kramek’s Facebook post and any shares of it.

7/08/2017 - Fiscal authorities launch a special fiscal and customs inspection of the Open Dialogue Foundation on the basis of a direct request of the MFA (despite the fact that various inspections have already been carried out in previous years, casting no doubts). The inspection is carried out in an unprecedented manner, with raids on the Foundation’s offices and ODF’s employees being interrogated multiple times, significantly impeding ODF’s work.

3/10/2017 - ODF finds out that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, having failed to force Bartosz Kramek to remove his post, had filed a motion to replace the Foundation’s management board. This request is rejected by the court on December 7th and then again in April 2018.

Right-wing journalists & politicians openly discuss the deportation of Lyudmyla Kozlovska as a possible measure to be taken against ODF.

01/03/2018 - Lyudmyla Kozlovska applies for a renewal of her permanent residence permit in Poland.

24/04/2018 - 34 NGOs around the world sign an appeal in defence of persecuted civic organisations in Poland, including ODF.

18/07/2018 - Lyudmyla Kozlovska receives a reply from the Office of the Mazowieckie Voivodeship informing her that parts of her permanent residence file have been classified.

13/08/2018 - Lyudmyla Kozlovska arrives at Brussels Airport on a flight from Kyiv. She is detained by Belgian border police and informed that she has been placed in the Schengen Information System (SIS) with the highest alert level, meaning she can not enter the Schengen zone. Having received a confirmation from Polish authorities that the SIS alert is indeed valid, after 15 hours of detention Belgian police deports her back to Kyiv.

14/08/2018 - 11/09/2018 - Lyudmyla is forced to stay in exile in Kyiv, unable to return home to her husband in Poland, nor to her second home and office in Brussels, Belgium. While in Kyiv, she is being constantly followed and surveilled by unknown persons, likely security services of post-Soviet states (Moldova and/or Kazakhstan). Fearing for her safety she is forced to change her residence every couple of days, staying in random rented rooms and apartments.

Lyudmyla’s case sparks outrage in worldwide media, among experts and politicians. The situation is covered by media outlets worldwide, including the Washington Post, Daily Mail, New York Times (no longer available), ABC News (article no longer available), Politico Europe (multiple), EurActiv (and here) and many others.

22/08/2018 - The Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights issues a statement on the abuse of SIS by Poland.

23/08/2018 - ALDE President Guy Verhofstadt expresses his outrage over the matter on Twitter and issues a letter to the European Commission, on behalf of his EP group, demanding an investigation on the possible abuse of SIS by Poland.

27/08/2018 - Ukrainian human rights organisations issue a joint appeal regarding the inclusion of Lyudmyla Kozlovska in the SIS

30/08/2018 - Dr Evelien Brouwer of Amsterdam Open University publishes a legal analysis proving the abuse of SIS by Polish authorities and incompatibility of Polish law with the SIS II regulation.

11/09/2018 - Lyudmyla Kozlovska is permitted to enter Germany on the basis of a special “national interest” visa issued by German authorities on the request of the Bundestag.

13/09/2018 - Lyudmyla Kozlovska speaks in a panel debate at the Bundestag on the dismantling of the rule of law in Poland and Hungary. Her appearance causes a diplomatic row between Poland and Germany, with the MFA summoning the German ambassador in for explanation and President Andrzej Duda personally speaking to President Steinmeier on the matter.

26/09/2018 - Lyudmyla Kozlovska speaks at an open ALDE session at the European Parliament (full recording), having been granted a Belgian visa on the request of MEPs Guy Verhofstadt (ALDE), Rebecca Harms (Greens) and Michał Boni (EPP), causing once again outrage in Poland, with the MFA summoning the Belgian ambassador in for an explanation.

26/09/2018 - The New York Times debunks a viral photo of Lyudmyla Kozlovska with George Soros, which had been shared throughout social media and right-wing websites at least 100.000 times during the Kavanaugh hearings, claiming it was actually Dr Christine Blasey Ford.

04-06/10/2018 - Lyudmyla Kozlovska heads an ODF delegation to London, with the British government confirming the validity of her long-term visa despite the SIS ban. The delegation meets, among others, with Laurent Pech, head of the Department of Law and Politics at Middlesex University, Edward Lucas, expert in security policy and columnist in The Times, James Nixey, Head of the Russia and Eurasia Programme in Chatham House and Anne Applebaum, journalist and Pulitzer prize laureate. The Polish Deputy Foreign Minister ignites a diplomatic row over the matter on Twitter, demanding the Foreign Office, the British Ambassador to Poland and Deputy Foreign Secretary to confirm their trust in Polish counterintelligence capabilities. British authorities ignore his request.

08/10/2018 - Lyudmyla Kozlovska speaks at two events in the Council of Europe, having been granted a visa by French authorities. A senior MFA official present at one of the events tries to defend the Polish government’s action by listing the issues it has with Kozlovska, including “publishing anti-government content and conducting political activities aimed against the current Polish government”. The MFA gives up on summoning the French ambassador.

11/10/2018 - The ALDE group in the European Parliament issues a second letter to the European Commission, demanding action on the Schengen ban and asking it to open an infringement procedure against Poland on the basis of “failing to fulfil an obligation under the Treaties”.

22/11/2018 - Lyudmyla Kozlovska speaks at the UK House of Commons in a panel discussion on the rule of law in Poland and Hungary, organised by the Foreign Policy Centre.

23/11/2018 - Lyudmyla Kozlovska chairs a panel on the “Changing role of parliaments in defending human rights and the rule of law” at the UN Forum on Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law.

11-12/2018 - Lyudmyla Kozlovska has been invited to speak in the Italian Senate, in the parliament of Austria, at the Sorbonne in Paris and at a parliamentary event in Hungary.