Defending Judges: Poland’s Anti-Neo-Nazi Effort

Iustitia, an organization for the rights of judges and the protection of the rule of law in Poland, has announced that it is seeking protection from the judge who handed down the verdict in the case of neo-Nazi hooligans convicted of attacking a member of the LGBTQI+ community.

In mid-July, the fundamentalist Catholic institute Ordo Iuris asked President Andrzej Duda to pardon a 24-year-old nationalist sentenced to three years in prison who, in August 2020, had attacked, with three other radicals, a person returning from at Pride in Poznań and carrying a rainbow bag in the colors of the flag of the LGBTQI+ community.

The far-right activist was released from prison by decision of Poland’s eurosceptic justice minister, Zbigniew Ziobro.

It quickly emerged that this woman, who had been released while serving her sentence, had radical right-wing views and was involved in the neo-Nazi organization “Front for National Cleansing”.

The campaign for his release was accompanied by a right-wing campaign against the judges and prosecutors responsible for charging and sentencing the attacker.

Mr. Ziobro himself announced that he would launch an audit in the prosecutor’s office subordinate to him and which led to the conviction of the “ patriot and defender of tradition ”, who, in his eyes, was imprisoned wrongly.

As part of the right-wing campaign against the judge who convicted the far-right activist of theft, threats began to be made against her — both punitive, by radical netizens, and by politicians of the right demanding his resignation or an official sanction.

The Iustitia association, which regularly defends judges who are targeted by the Polish conservative authorities, spoke in this case.

The association announced that “ given the media coverage and the threats made against the referring judge who pronounced the sentence in question ”, it called on the services to “ ensure his protection and safety ”.

Bartłomiej Przymusiński, spokesperson for the association, also commented on the situation during the press conference.

“ Poles have the right for their daughters and their mothers to feel safe on the streets, in order to prevent someone from being robbed in the street by a violent group because they have this or that color of bag ” , said Przymusiński.

The case of the release of a criminal convicted for his neo-Nazi views is highly controversial in Poland and is part of a trend towards the normalization of the presence of the radical right in Polish society.

Earlier this week, a poll was released that found the Confederation of the Radical Right now enjoys a record 16% support among Poles.

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