We are pleased to inform that on December 12, 2019, we organized a series of meetings involving “defiant” Polish judges and prosecutors – the main victims of politically motivated persecution. Among them were judges Waldemar Żurek and Dariusz Mazur as well as prosecutors Krzysztof Parchimowicz and Ewa Wrzosek.
The brim-packed agenda started with meetings with Members of the European Parliament, including LIBE (Civil Liberties, Justice & Home Affairs Committee) Vice-Chair Maite Pagazaurtundua, followed by quick catch-ups with Petra De Sutter, Janusz Lewandowski and others.
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The main event of the day was “Law and Justice’s Campaign against the Polish Judiciary” – a European Parliament lunch debate co-organised with Renew Europe, hosted by some of Poland’s best friends in the EP, Sophie in ‘t Veld & – as we’ve learned – Michal Šimečka, with crucial input from the uncompromising Róża Thun & our Lyudmyla Kozlovska.
We’re proud to say the room was packed as hardly ever seen at this type of events and media coverage was quite significant – from some 10 reports across state TV, through a thorough material in private Polsat, to a dozen publications across web portals (from independent like Gazeta Wyborcza & Dziennik to pro-government).
Directly following the debate we had a very pleasant discussion with the always-supportive Human Rights Watch. Then two high-level meetings, which one could expect to rather be a courtesy, but which turned out to be highly productive, with concrete next steps agreed upon: with European Commission Vice-President Věra Jourová & Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders. Among our main appeals to them was requesting interim measures from the ECJ regarding the repression faced by judges – something that we’re glad to say the Commission has just said would happen! As could be predicted though, soon after our meeting the right-wing and state media – including the main state TV news Wiadomości – accused the EC Vice-President, who had issued a letter in defence of the judiciary, of “seeking anarchy”, since she had met with “well-known radicals” from ODF.
Last but not least, to end the day we had an – unfortunately rushed – open meeting for experts, officials & friends, kindly hosted by the Amnesty International European Institutions Office.
Suffice to say we were met with a heart-warming, unexpected wave of support from the EU for some of the last-standing heroes of the independent judiciary in Poland. The prevailing message: “stay strong, we have your back!”.
- PACE adopts resolution on Poland with ODF’s amendments (04.02.2020)
- ODF holds a side-event on Polish judiciary during 2020 PACE Winter Session (03.02.2020)
- “Law and Justice’s Campaign against Polish Judiciary” – ODF’s hearing in the European Parliament (17.12.2019)
- Gazeta Wyborcza: Judges Waldemar Żurek and Dariusz Mazur in the European Parliament. They will tell about the deformation of the judiciary by PiS (01.12.2019)
- Position of the Open Dialogue Foundation in the case of Judge Dariusz Mazur (19.11.2019)
- 20 lawsuits filed against Law and Justice. Interim measure against TVP (11.10.2019)
- Attacks on judges and independent prosecutors in Poland. An ODF event at the OSCE forum (30.09.2019)
- ODF attends PACE Autumn Session 2018 to speak up for rule of law and human rights defenders (05.10.2018)
- Attack against the rule of law and civil society in Poland – a debate during the OSCE HDIM 2017 conference (19.09.2017)