Brutal Violation of Free Speech by the Tusk Government in Poland! Please help us protect the freedom of the press!
Appeal – Polish Journalists Association
The Management Board of the Polish Journalists Association (ZG SDP) urges the politicians of the Civic Coalition (KO), which formed the coalition government in our country on December 13, 2023, to respect the legal system concerning media and journalistic independence.
The announcements made by the Civic Coalition (KO) politicians about an immediate takeover of the public media after the change of government are based on extra-legal solutions – meaning violating and bending the existing law – i.e., the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, and the Broadcasting Law of the National Broadcasting Council. We are strongly opposed to such practices. We would like to remind you that changes in the public media can only be made using laws passed by the Parliament (Sejm) and the Senate and signed by the President.
The ZG SDP also strongly protests against the refusal of accreditation, the failure to answer questions, and the omission of journalists from the public media and those private media whose program does not correspond to the current ruling coalition’s line, i.e., information provided by the government press office. Witness examples of the scandalous behavior of KO politicians towards journalists in the very first days of the new government include the shoving of TVP journalist Adrian Borecki by Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski (12.12.2023), the refusal to grant media accreditation to the TVP and Polish Radio team for a trip to Brussels with Prime Minister Donald Tusk (13.12.2023), and the refusal to provide TVP and TV Republika with information about the upcoming press conference held by Deputy Prime Minister W. Kosiniak-Kamysz on the liquidation of the Smoleńsk Subcommittee and the refusal to record statements made on the subject (15.12.23). Such actions by those in power violate the principle of freedom of expression, which is based, among other things, on equal treatment of all journalists and all editorships. Such actions also bear the hallmarks of obstruction of press criticism by denying journalists access to open media events, physically assaulting a journalist, or obstructing the collection of material critical of the government. Under Article 44(1) of the Press Law, such acts are punishable by a fine or even a restriction of freedom.
Freedom of expression and journalistic independence are fundamental to the functioning of any democratic state. The actions announced by the authorities and their attacks on journalists violate the constitutional principle of freedom of expression, which includes not only the freedom to express one’s opinion but also the freedom to receive (and disseminate) information. They also herald the destruction of the media that are independent of those in power and the journalists who work there. The SDP declares that it will oppose this and defend the independence of journalists and the media with all available means.
Krzysztof Skowroński – President of the SDP
Jolanta Hajdasz – Vice-President of the SDP
Mariusz Pilis – Vice-President of the SDP
Aleksandra Tabaczyńska – SDP Treasurer
Hubert Bekrycht – SDP Secretary General
Maria Giedz – Member of the ZG SDP
Wanda Nadobnik – Member of ZG SDP
Andrzej Klimczak – Member of ZG SDP
Grzegorz Radzicki – Member of ZG SDP
Wojciech Pokora – Member of ZG SDP