Several Members of Parliament from the opposition party, Law and Justice, gathered for a protest at the offices of the Polish Press Agency (PAP) in response to the recent dismissal of PAP’s president, Wojciech Surmacz, and the supervisory board. The government’s move, part of a broader restructuring of public media, has ignited accusations of a breach of Polish law.
The dismissals, which also affected the heads of TVP and Polish Radio, were executed by the culture minister as the new government aimed to eliminate perceived bias and reinstate neutrality in news coverage across public media outlets.
Piotr Glinski, a PiS MP and former culture minister, spoke to journalists, expressing concerns about the events unfolding. He likened the situation to “Belarusian standards” and characterized it as a “coup d’état” with an open violation of Polish law. Glinski alleged that there was an attempt to forcefully enter the president’s office, deeming the situation “very serious.”
“We are doing nothing other than defending the legal order regarding public media in Poland. Currently, we are dealing with an attempt to illegally take over public media based on decisions that are illegal,” stated Glinski, emphasizing the need for the current culture minister, Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz, to act within the bounds of the law.
“The issues of appointing management and supervisory boards of public media are regulated by appropriate acts,” Glinski asserted.
Thursday morning saw Marek Blonski, the head of the PAP works council, entering Surmacz’s office alongside several others. During a conversation with Surmacz, Blonski claimed to be the new president of the agency, citing the decision of the culture minister as the basis for this change in leadership. The ongoing developments have raised concerns about the state of media independence and adherence to legal procedures in Poland.