Annual Report: Poland 2013

Report
May 23, 2013

Annual Report: Poland 2013

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  • In April, in the case Kaperzyński v. Poland, the European Court of Human Rights found that Polish authorities interfered with the right to freedom of expression of a journalist who had not published a local authority's reply to his article accusing them of environmental mismanagement. He was given a four-month suspended sentence of community service and banned from working as a journalist for two years. The European Court held that imposing a criminal sentence for a failure to publish a reply was disproportionate and discouraged free debate on issues of public interest.
  • In September, the editor of Antykomor.pl website was sentenced to 10 months' community service for publishing satirical materials about the President of Poland.
  • Also in September, the European Court of Human Rights found that Poland had violated the right to freedom of expression of a local councillor in the case Lewandowska-Malec v. Poland. The councillor had publicly expressed an opinion that the town's mayor was putting extra-legal pressure on the prosecution service in the case relating to alleged fraud by municipality officials in Świątniki Górne. Following a complaint by the mayor, the councillor was found guilty of defamation in 2006. The European Court held that imposing a criminal sentence – in this case a fine of 1,900 euros – was disproportionate.

Refugees and migrants

In October, Poland announced its plan to introduce a ban on detaining unaccompanied migrant children under 13 years of age. However, according to available statistics, most unaccompanied children in Poland were over 13 years old. In September, Poland rejected the full implementation of the recommendation of the UN Universal Periodic Review for a complete ban on placing migrant minors in detention facilities.