Commissioner for Human Rights

Torture by the police: the Commissioner for Human Rights explains how to prevent it. Adam Bodnar’s press conference on 19 April


There have been cases of the police using torture against apprehended persons or witnesses in Poland, which has to be counteracted. One of the solutions is to ensure access to a lawyer from the moment of the apprehension, writes Adam Bodnar in his motion to the Minister of Justice. The extensive document contains an analysis of specific cases of inhuman and cruel treatment, which have been confirmed by courts.

- Why do we need to talk about it? Firstly, because the prohibition of torture, arising from our constitution, has its roots in the "bitter experiences of the past", in the memory of what happened before World War II in Bereza Kartuska or in Stalinist prisons. Therefore, the prohibition has to be strictly observed, said Commissioner for Human Rights Adam Bodnar at a press conference held on 19 April.  – Secondly, torture in Poland takes place in the case of the weakest and poorest persons, those who are unable to cope with the law system themselves. The state has its responsibilities towards such people, and should provide assistance to them from the moment they are detained. Thirdly, torture leaves a permanent mark in a human being. The process of treating such trauma is long-lasting; such experience destroys the trust to the state and its representatives forever, emphasized the CHR at the meeting