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    Poland’s first political prisoner since 1989 goes on hunger strike

    Poland witnesses its first political prisoner since 1989 as Members of Parliament (MPs) Mariusz Kamiński and Maciej Wąsik were apprehended on January 9, 2024, within the Presidential Palace. Despite their status as MPs with political immunity and pardons granted by President Andrzej Duda in 2015, their arrest is deemed unconstitutional and a violation of the law.

    Vice President of the Law and Justice Party (PiS) and former Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki expressed deep concern, stating, “For the first time since the dark days of totalitarian rule, we have political prisoners in Poland.” He emphasized the blatant disregard for the rule of law during the MPs’ detention in the Presidential Palace.

    Kamiński, former head of the Central Anticorruption Bureau, and Wąsik, his Deputy, played a crucial role in fighting corruption, often involving figures close to Tusk. Kamiński also faced adversity in 1981, being sentenced for a year for damaging a monument of gratitude to the Red Army.

    Vice President of PiS and former Prime Minister Beata Szydło labeled Kamiński and Wąsik as symbols in the fight against corruption and pathologies in the Third Polish Republic. She attributed their arrest to the animosity of pseudo-elites preying on Poland and its people, marking them as the first political prisoners of Tusk’s regime.

    Following their unconstitutional detention, Mariusz Kamiński initiated a hunger strike, declaring his imprisonment as an act of political revenge. In a statement, he demanded the immediate release of all former Central Anticorruption Bureau members covered by the 2015 presidential clemency.

    “I declare that I treat my conviction for fighting corruption and the taking of illegal actions to deprive me of my parliamentary mandate as an act of political revenge. Therefore, as a political prisoner, I have started a hunger protest since the first day of my imprisonment. I demand the immediate release from prison of all members of the former management of the CBA who were covered by the act of clemency issued in 2015 by the President of the Republic of Poland.”

    Kamiński wrote in a statment.

    The actions of Donald Tusk’s government, including an illegal takeover of public media confirmed by the National Registry Court, and the arrest of MPs Kamiński and Wąsik, are seen as a breach of Western democratic norms.

    Mateusz Morawiecki appealed to international organizations and Western democracies to take a stand against these developments, urging them not to passively observe the unfolding events in Poland.

    “I ask the representatives of international organizations – especially the institutions of the European Union – to take an unequivocal stand on this appalling turn of events. I appeal to the democratic community of the West not to look passively at what is happening in Poland today.”

    Morawieckki said.

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