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Amnesty: Polish human rights activist arrested after return from Belgium
abroad, The Polish human rights activist Elzbieta Podlesna, after a visit to Belgium and the Netherlands for several hours, held by the Polish authorities. During a search the police found posters of the Virgin Mary with a regenboogaureool. The woman is now accused of 'insulting religious beliefs'. Amnesty International believes that the activism of Podlesna the sole reason for her arrest.

The woman was in Belgium and the Netherlands at the invitation of Amnesty international to testify to the increasing pressure on the rule of law in Poland. The Polish police were yesterday morning inside her house. The found posters of the Virgin Mary hung at the end of april in the streets of the city of Plock. During the search were also the laptop, mobile phone and memory cards of Podlesna seized.

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According to Amnesty, there is no evidence that the woman is a crime committed. "Amnesty International calls on the Polish authorities to peaceful demonstrators and activists no longer harass or persecute. Everyone in Poland should be free express opinions," says Wies De Graeve, director of Amnesty International Flanders.


Podlesna pulled in november 2017, along with thirteen other women to the annual onafhankelijkheidsmars in the centre of the Polish capital, Warsaw. Tens of thousands of people took part in the event and many were wearing fascist symbols and chanted racist slogans. At the time that the fourteen ladies a banner with the slogan 'stop fascism' ontrolden, they were immediately reviled and physically attacked. One woman lost consciousness. Also Podlesna was violently dealt with neck problems as a result.

The fourteen activists submitted a complaint against the violence, but the public prosecutor refused initially to conduct an examination. Only at the beginning of this year decided a judge that there is an investigation must be started. In addition, the women were themselves persecuted because they are 'a lawful demonstration obstructed'. Nine of them were sentenced to monetary fines. The ladies try that ruling is now on appeal to undo.

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