AND BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS IN POLAND
RE: Police violence and repression: Equality March, Poznan, 19 November 2005.
I wish to express my protest against the repressive steps taken by the Polish police and politicians against the Equality March in Poznan. What happened in Poznan was a violation of human rights, a scandalous infringement against freedom of speech, which is the basis of democratic society.
The March was to be held on 19th November (the International Tolerance Day of UNESCO is 16th Nov). It was organized by a coalition of individuals coming from gay and lesbian organizations, feminists, anti-authoritarian circles and leftist and green parties from Poznan. It promoted the values of tolerance, diversity and equal rights for all.
The Poznan authorities declared the March of Equality illegal. They argued that “might be dangerous for the local community and buildings”. The March was a peaceful demonstration promoting basic human rights included in both international and Polish law. As such, it should have been granted space and protection by the authorities. Instead – it was surrounded by a circle of policemen for about 2 hours, while the illegal counter demonstration of the radical rightwing youths, not legalized and not surrounded by the Police, shouted at the other march: “We will do with you, queers, what Hitler did with Jews”. Police made no effort to stop the homophobic and anti-Semite protest by Mlodziez Wszechpolska.
Human right were violated twice. First – the ban. Efforts to prevent the March from taking place were a blatant violation of freedom of speech and of manifestation of political opinions. Second – the repression during and after the “illegal” event. 65 persons were arrested and detained, although none behaved violently. Many were also brutally dragged along the pavement. Some were beaten up in police cars. Many will have to appear in court, facing charges of participating in an “illegal” march. The possible punishment could be fines (up to 5000 PLN = 1200Euro) and/or arrest (up to a month).
I would like to express my protest against measures taken by the Polish authorities and Police during the Equality March and before it. The police repression directed at the participants and organizers constitute a series of violations of basic human rights of individuals participating in a peaceful demonstration. I support the organizers of the Poznan March and protest against any legal punishment they might face in the future for organizing this event – a peaceful manifestation in defense tolerance, diversity and equality.
You cannot practice democracy by breaking basic human rights!
Please, send your petition by: fax, mail or e-mail to:
****(The court in Poznan)
Sad Rejonowy, ul. Mlynska 1a, 61-729 Poznan, Poland
tel. 00 48 61 852 73 81; (0048 61) 856-60-00
fax. (00 48 61) 852-65-88
***The administrative Court in Poznan
Wojewódzki Sąd Administracyjny w Poznaniu
ul. Ratajczaka 10/12, 61-815 Poznań tel. (00 48 61) 8566 700, fax. (00 48 61) 8566 710
****(the headquarters of the Police in Warsaw)
Komenda Główna Policji, Ul. Pulawska 148/150; 02-514 WARSZAWA
Tel: 0048 22 6210251; Fax: 0048 22 8488494 email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
*** the Polish Embassy or Consulate in Your region.
The description of events:
You can find a full report from the Poznan events (including pictures, movies and petitions) here:
many photographs are here: www.kobiety-kobietom.org
From Indymedia Poland, in English:
(Has video footage).
An eyewitness account from one of the detained:
The Kobiety-kobietom url is incorrect; it should be:
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