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Court finds entry ban on Lyudmyla Kozlovska unjustified

Last Friday, our Foundation‘s office received information that during a meeting behind closed doors held on 16 April 2019, the Voivodeship Administrative Court in Warsaw (VAC) overturned the decision of the Office for Foreigners on the inclusion of Lyudmyla Kozlovska, President of the Open Dialogue Foundation, in the Schengen Information System II. The VAC concluded that the documents, on the basis of which Lyudmyla was included in the lists of undesirable persons in Poland and in the Schengen countries, are very general in nature and insufficient to consider her a threat to Poland’s public security.

We hereby express our satisfaction, as the VAC’s judgement regarding Lyudmyla means that the Polish government (and the broadly understood ruling camp) lost again against ODF and our activists. At this point, we would like to remind you of the two-time court loss of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which attempted to suspend and take over the Foundation’s board (the judgement is final), and Bartek Kramek‘s recent victory in a lawsuit against Gazeta Polska and Tomasz Sakiewicz, sued for violation of personal rights.

The judgement is not only a victory for the Foundation, but also for members of Polish civil society, who, since December 2015, have been taking action to defend the separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary.

Unfortunately, this does not mean that Lyudmyla is allowed to return to Poland. The court granted our complaint and awarded legal costs to Lyudmylal, but did not lift the entry ban itself; instead, it  ordered that the head of the Office for Foreigners reconsiders the case. The judgment is not final, which means that the head of the Office for Foreigners has the right to lodge a cassation complaint with the Supreme Administrative Court. However, if the Office for Foreigners does not file a complaint, it will have to justify the entry ban more convincingly when reconsidering the case, i.e. present a formal refusal to lift it with new evidence to back it. The court reached its decision having analysed the classified documents provided to it by the Office for Foreigners, which, in turn, were based on the negative opinion of the head of the Internal Security Agency regarding Lyudmyla Kozlovska’s stay in Poland and the Schengen area.

The fight for Lyudmyla’s full freedom of movement within the Schengen area is not yet over, but already today, we would like to express our gratitude to all those who supported Lyudmyla and our Foundation and have shown us their solidarity in this difficult time.

The case was first described by journalist Marcin Wyrwał on the Onet.pl portal.

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