I have taken actions ex officio. Statement by the Polish Commissioner for Human Rights following 7th August events in Warsaw


As the Cominissioner for Human Rights, it was with major distress and concern that I observed last night’s events (7th August 2020) against the persons protesting against remand detention of an activist from the “Stop bzdurom” collective. Being responsible for protecting fundamental human and civil  rights and freedoms, in particular against violations of rights by public authorities, I decided to initiate a preliminary investigation into the case.

The recordings from the scene of the event available in the media as well as public statements by witnesses including MPs from the Polish Sejm indicate that the conduct of the police officers requires urgent examination as to its correctness and legality.

Therefore, I have already taken actions on this matter ex officio to examine the following:

  • causes and legal basis for the Police intervention against the protesters,
  • circumstances and causes of the detention of a large number of persons (according to currently available information – approximately 50 persons),
  • use of coercive measures against the protesters,
  • respecting the rights of the detainees at the police stations, including access to legal counsel in the course of actions undertaken by the Police against the detainees.

Moreover, today, the representatives of National Prevention Mechanism against Torture (NPMs), an organ responsible for eliminating risk of occurrence of torture or inhuman or degrading  treatment, are carrying out inspections at the police stations where persons detained during yesterday's events are being held.

In a democratic state ruled by law, all citizens, regardless of any characteristics, including sexual orientation and gender identity, should enjoy their full rights with a sense of safety and dignity. I stress that the protection of this safety is one of the basic tasks of the Police.

Adam Bodnar

Polish Commissioner for Human Rights