Statement of the Kazimierz Łyszczyński Foundation on the arrest of the Chief editor of the weekly „Facts and Myths”
On Monday, February 15, 2016, the agents of the Central Investigation Bureau of the police entered the offices of the Polish anticlerical weekly „Facts and Myths” in Warsaw. Police have arrested the Chief Editor and the publisher of the magazine. The copies of the hard discs, including accountancy discs, have been confiscated and the employees have been interrogated by the police agents. Apparently, Roman Kotlinski has not been arrested in connection with his function in „Facts and Myths”. However, the time, place, manner and other circumstances of this detention arouse our astonishment and concern. „Facts and Myths” is one of the few independent media in Poland, recently highly critical of the actions of the government and of the governing party PIS.
Independent press is one of the guarantors of democratic state. Without a free press there will be no democracy. The constitutional guarantee of freedom of expression (speech) is closely linked to the principle of freedom of the press (articles 14 and 54). It is not the first action taken by the current government, which is incompatible with the idea of free media, but the first one to have an openly dangerous character.
We express our deep concern and opposition to the undemocratic steps taken again by the government, which damage the democratic state system in Poland.
We condemn also the methods used by the current ruling party against their opponents. It reminds the worst totalitarian practices from the history. We urge the civil society to express solidarity with the detained journalist and support for freedom of expression and of media in Poland.
See also Democracy Under Threat in Poland!