New Polish Law Restricts Demonstration Rights

Leo Timm
By Leo Timm
December 2, 2016News
New Polish Law Restricts Demonstration Rights
Thousands of people march in front of the presidential palace in Warsaw to protest against the government's moves that have paralyzed the nations highest legislative court, the Constitutional Tribunal on March 12, 2016. AFP PHOTO/JANEK SKARZYNSKI / AFP / JANEK SKARZYNSKI (Photo credit should read JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Polish parliament has approved a law that limits the freedom of assembly in some situations, something that has sparked controversy in the nation of 40 million.

According to the new law, assemblies and protests cannot be held at times and places where churches or the authorities decide to hold activities such as celebrations of “important events for Poland’s history.”

“This bill allows to avoid conflicts, this bill gives everyone the chance to manifest their views but without fights,” said Interior minister Mariusz Błaszczak in defense of the regulation.

The ruling Law and Justice Party, or “PiS” adopted the law on Dec. 2. The liberal opposition fears it will be used to block anti-government demonstrations.

“For us it is obvious that this law will be used against the civic society in Poland. It isn’t first time when the PiS (Law and Justice) attacks the independent control,” said Kamila Gasiuk-Pihowicz, a lawmaker for the liberal party Nowoczesna.

Before the law was passed, local authorities, not the central government, were responsible for approving protests and other public gatherings.

(NTD Television)

Front page image: Thousands of people march in front of the presidential palace in Warsaw on March 12, 2016. Credit: Janek Skarzynski/AFP/Getty Images

ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.