Media organisations ask Polish defence minister to drop complaint against journalist

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]18 July 2017

Dear Defence Minister Macierewicz,

Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Freedom House, the Global Editors Network (GEN), Index on Censorship, the International Press Institute (IPI) and the South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) are very concerned about the criminal proceedings you have brought through the military bureau of the Polish prosecutor-general’s office against the investigative journalist Tomasz Piatek in connection with a book he has written.

You accuse this journalist of “using force or threats against a public official” and “public insults or humiliation of a constitutional body” – charges that could result in a three-year jail sentence.

In our view, there are absolutely no grounds for prosecuting a civilian before a military court in connection with his writings.

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There are absolutely no grounds for prosecuting a civilian before a military court in connection with his writings.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_column_text]The organisations signing this letter urge you to abandon these proceedings against this journalist.

We understand that Tomasz Piatek is an investigative journalist of recognised standing and that the book is based on 18 months of research and reporting.

As a prominent representative of the Polish state, using the prerogatives of your position to suppress criticism that has been levelled against you undermines the rule of law and helps to project a very damaging picture of respect for media freedom in your country. Like all other citizens, government ministers have other means at their disposal if they want to dispute allegations they regard as erroneous.

This latest attempt to intimidate a journalist seems to be part of a broader two-year-old offensive against freedoms in Poland that could be aggravated by the controversial proposed reform of the judicial system

We thank you in advance for the attention you give to our letter.


Lutz Kinkel, General Director of European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF)

Ricardo Gutiérrez,the EFJ General Secretary

Nate Schenkkan, Nations in Transit Project Director at Freedom House

Peter Bale, President of the Global Editors Network (GEN)

Melody Patry, Head of Advocacy, Index on Censorship

Scott Griffen, Director of Press Freedom Programmes at the International Press Institute (IPI)

Pauline Adès-Mével, Head of the EU-Balkan desk of Reporters Without Borders (RSF)

Oliver Vujovic, Secretary General of South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_basic_grid post_type=”post” max_items=”12″ style=”load-more” items_per_page=”4″ element_width=”6″ grid_id=”vc_gid:1500386462977-62faa9b6-2b3f-9″ taxonomies=”6632″][/vc_column][/vc_row]