Since the Law and Justice party (PiS) came to power in 2015, the Polish authorities purposefully obstruct access to information – either by refusing to provide information, delays in responding or delivering incomplete information. This both unconstitutional and undemocratic practice is yet another example of Poland going rogue under the PiS leadership, stated our advocacy officer, Katarzyna Szczypska, at the Second Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting (SHDM), and urged the OSCE bodies to take a firm stance and discipline the Polish authorities to comply with the organisation’s principles.
- Reforms in Ukraine
- Persecution of lawyers
- "Meal For a Doctor" campaign
- Vlad Plahotniuc
- Freedom of speech
- Nursultan Nazarbayev
- Human rights
- Igor Vinyavskiy
- Humanitarian aid
- Oppression of the opposition
- Vladimir Kozlov
- Bolat Atabayev
- Vadim Kuramshin
- Alexandr Pavlov
- Mukhtar Ablyazov
- Muratbek Ketebayev
- Election observation
- Alma Shalabayeva
- Tatyana Paraskevich
- Zaure Akpenbetova
- Election monitoring
- Ukrainian World
- Oleg Sentsov
- Nadiya Savchenko
- Zinaida Mukhortova
- Rafis Kashapov
- Nadia Savchenko
- Bota Jardemalie
- Rule of law in Poland
- Magnitsky Act
On Monday, June 22nd, less than a week before the first round of the Polish presidential election, our colleague Martin Mycielski was a guest on a special edition of the Europa United Eurochat podcast. The episode was entirely focused on the upcoming election, so after a few questions about ODF and our work Martin dove into the history of the office of the President and its former holders, to then give an overview of the current candidates, their views and chances.
Polish President Andrzej Duda’s focus on the “LGBT threat” is a retreat to a well-used trope ahead of the presidential elections. But will it work, asks Martin Mycielski.
Today, on June 9, 2020, the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court is holding a closed hearing regarding lifting the immunity of judge Igor Tuleya. This and other glaring violations of ECJ judgements and EU law have compelled the world’s leading legal scholars to sign a follow-up letter by ODF and Prof. Laurent Pech to the European Commission regarding the deterioration of the rule of law in Poland.
The last five years have been a period of rapid changes on the political scene in Poland – in 2015, presidential and parliamentary elections were held, and the election campaigns often referred to the dangers of immigration, aroused fears of refugees or Islamists, and appealed to anti-Semitic and anti-Ukrainian sentiments. At the same time, Europe faced the challenge of receiving and integrating large groups of immigrants and refugees from Africa and the Middle East. Although this process was not visible in Poland, it became a subject of lively public debate, accompanied by real government action in this field.
Over 70 instances of hate crimes on racist, homophobic, anti-semitic, xenophobicand other grounds. This grim record is a result of Open Dialogue’s latest investigation into hate crimes in Poland. The report covers the period stretching from January to December 2019, and complements the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) annual reporting on “hate incidents” across the OSCE area. Most alarmingly, the report reveals a hate crime-conducive environment with the authorities turning a blind eye, or – worst still – being complicit in endorsing and spreading intolerance, stigmatisation, discrimination or even incitement to violence.
In an interview with Emerging Europe, ODF representatives Katarzyna Szczypska and Martin Mycielski spoke about the strengths and weaknesses of the delayed start of the opposition candidate Rafał Trzaskowski in Polish presidential election, his chances of defeating the current President and also why these elections may be the last fight for the Polish democracy.
Due to the decision issued by the District Court in Warsaw on March 13, 2020, state broadcaster Polskie Radio S.A. secured a claim on personal rights protection of ODF, Lyudmyla Kozlovska and Bartosz Kramek. As a result, Polskie Radio updated multiple articles in three language versions (Polish, Russian and Ukrainian) with information regarding pending lawsuits, […]
The Open Dialogue Foundation provided inputs to the first annual Rule of Law Report, the European Commission’s latest oversight mechanism and a part of its wider rule of law toolbox. Together with experts and practitioners from Poland – judges Dariusz Mazur and Agnieszka Niklas-Bibik, as well as former public media employee, Piotr Owczarski – we submitted our feedback on the worrisome developments in the Polish justice system and media sector in 2019 and the first half of 2020. The European Commission’s initiative will result in the “Rule of Law Report”, expected to be published in September 2020.
The next few days and weeks will determine the fate of the Supreme Court, a key institution in the Polish legal system that is currently upholding the independence of the judiciary. In 2018 the Supreme Court was attacked by two foreign bodies, the so-called Disciplinary Chamber (ID) and the Chamber of Extraordinary Control and Public Affairs (IKNiSP). Contrary to their names, they do not consist of independent judges, but of party nominees loyal to the current parliamentary majority and the Law and Justice government.
Before the announced presidential election on May 10 in Poland, the Director of Public Affairs of the Open Dialogue Foundation Martin Mycielski gave an interview to the Finnish magazine Suomen Kuvalehti, in which he assessed the real chances of conducting safe and constitutional elections.
As incredible as it may seem in the current climate, with most of Europe on lockdown and national elections cancelled in Serbia and North Macedonia, Poland appears determined to go ahead with its presidential vote, set to be held on May 10. A second round, if needed, would take place two weeks later
Some 25 countries have decided to postpone their upcoming elections, with the last few – mostly regional or in tiny states – being held in early March.
The 2020 Winter Session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), held on 27-31 January 2020 in Strasbourg, was dominated by two topics: the returning of voting rights to Russia (which ODF strongly campaigned against), which was suspended following its annexation of Crimea and invasion of Ukraine, and the worsening situation in regard to the rule of law in Poland.
As is by now tradition for us, we were proud to be present during the 2020 Winter Session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, held on 27-31 January 2020 in Strasbourg, France. Our delegation consisted of ODF President Lyudmyla Kozlovska, Kazakhstani activist from the ‘Qaharman’ human rights movement Dana Zhanay and Polish persecuted judge Dominik Czeszkiewicz from the Suwałki District Court.
In light of the ongoing assault on the independence of the judiciary in Poland by the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party – and especially the recently-exposed hate campaign against judges and prosecutors, orchestrated by the justice ministry itself – the Renew Europe group and the Open Dialogue Foundation have organised on December 12th, 2019, a European Parliament lunch debate with prosecutors and judges persecuted in Poland.
ODF is proud to have organised a high-level mission to Brussels of the most famous “disobedient” Polish judges & prosecutors – the leading victims of the systemic persecution & defamation of the independent judiciary in the country: judges Waldemar Żurek & Dariusz Mazur and prosecutors Krzysztof Parchimowicz & Ewa Wrzosek.
Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party doesn’t shy away from the authoritarian playbook to secure their power. While the battle with the European Commission over the rule of law rages on, PiS is discreetly trying to tweak electoral law in their favour.
Last week – not for the first time, and probably not the last – I have been met by a wave of hatred from the right-wing community. All because we decided, together with the delegation of the Open Dialogue Foundation, to hold a series of meetings in Washington, which, by accident, overlapped with the visit of President Duda.