Almost every week for the last couple of years, people just like Boguslaw have taken to the streets in various towns and cities in Poland to protest. They have been demonstrating against the government’s ongoing attempts to restrict human rights, including women’s rights; growing nationalism and xenophobia; and threats to the environment.
Harassment of protestors and excessive use of force by the police during demonstrations is the hard-hitting reality in Poland today.
Amnesty’s report “The Power of ‘the street’: Protecting the right to peaceful protest in Poland”, show the repressive strategies used by the authorities to silence people who disagree with them.
Those who participate in protests to express their dissent about government actions in today’s Poland are frequently threatened with detention and prosecution, or subjected to outright violence at the hands of police or security officers.
It is startling how people have become used to these abuses by the authorities.
“I don’t even count the number of cases the police opened against me” was a sentence we heard several times from the protesters interviewed for the report.