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    Gazeta Polska Clubs Call on President Duda to Act: A Plea for Human Rights

    The Gazeta Polska Clubs have issued an urgent appeal to President Andrzej Duda, calling for the immediate organization of a Human Rights Conference. This impassioned plea was read aloud during a protest held in defence of Father Michał Olszewski, a victim of alleged torture, in front of the Polish Parliament (Sejm).

    The Gazeta Polska Clubs, known for their patriotic fervour and commitment to national values, gathered in significant numbers to express their indignation at the current state of affairs in Poland. Their presence at the protest was a clear signal of their dedication to upholding the principles of justice and human dignity.

    In their letter to President Duda, the club members reminded him of the trust placed in him by the Polish people, who elected him twice to the nation’s highest office, entrusting him with the guardianship of the Constitution. They highlighted Poland’s historical commitment to human rights, which was a powerful tool against communist oppression, and emphasized the nation’s role in expanding the reach of fundamental human rights.

    The letter recalled the significant impact of the 1988 International Human Rights Conference in Kraków’s Mistrzejowice, a pivotal moment in Poland’s history. Post-1989, despite criticism, Poland achieved remarkable progress in expanding personal freedoms, freedom of speech, assembly, and ending the unlawful use of state violence.

    However, recent reports from prison, detailing the torture of two female officials and Father Michał Olszewski, have cast a dark shadow over these achievements. The list of abuses is harrowing: deprivation of food and sleep, denial of bathroom access, demeaning encouragements to use bottles or vomit on oneself, forcing women to strip and urinate or shower in front of male guards, torment with light and noise, denial of defence, and obstruction of religious practices. Such practices are chilling and have no place in a state governed by the rule of law.

    The letter underscored that, despite current political divisions, the overwhelming majority of Poles stand united against such inhumane practices. Thus, the Gazeta Polska Clubs are calling on President Duda to honour Poland’s proud traditions by convening a Human Rights Conference. They envision this conference as a platform where government representatives, non-governmental organizations, and other interested parties can reach a consensus on upholding human rights, a commitment that all political factions must abide by.

    “Surely, we all agree that we want a Poland free of torture,” concluded Ryszard Kapuściński, President of the Gazeta Polska Clubs, urging President Duda to take swift and decisive action in response to this grave issue. The call is clear: Poland must reaffirm its dedication to human rights, standing as a beacon of freedom and justice in these troubling times.

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