On 28 April 1947, the large scale action of forced resettlement of Ukrainians and Lemkos, Polish citizens, from the south-eastern provinces of Poland to the north-west region of the country started. In three months, over 140,000 persons were resettled. Some of them were transported to the Central Labour Camp in Jaworzno, in which 160 persons died a result of hunger, illnesses and torture.
There have been cases of the police using torture against apprehended persons or witnesses in Poland, which has to be counteracted. One of the solutions is to ensure access to a lawyer from the moment of the apprehension, writes Adam Bodnar in his motion to the Minister of Justice. The extensive document contains an analysis of specific cases of inhuman and cruel treatment, which have been confirmed by courts.
In Budapest, thousands of Hungarian and foreign students, professors and private individuals protested against the proposed amendment to the law on higher education. According to the demonstrators and many academic circles in Europe and in the world, as well as many states and politicians, the planned reform poses a threat to the operation of one of the key institutions in our region – the Central European University (CEU).
- It is not just about populism as a political method, but about the use of populism to destroy constitutional courts. In such circumstances, the ombudsman must be a guardian of values such as human rights. It must be reliable in terms of legal solutions but also creative in terms of communication methods, said Adam Bodnar, the Commissioner for Human Rights at the workshop for ombudspersons organized on April 3-4 in Barcelona.
On Sunday, 2 April 2017, 20 years have passed since the adoption of the current text of the Constitution. On that occasion, the CHR Office organized meetings and discussions open to the general public, e.g. with prof. Ewa Łętowska, the first Polish Commissioner for Human Rights and with prof. Jerzy Ciemniewski, one of the authors of the current Constitution. The CHR Office employees presented the main matters dealt with by the Commissioner and directly relating to the rights arising from the Constitution.
On 20-22 March 2017 in Warsaw, a workshop was held for representatives of the military ombudsman institutions from participating states of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. On the first day, the discussions focused on the scope of democratic control over military services and on issues related to the security sector management. On that day the meeting was also attended by representatives of armed forces and other uniformed services.
U.S. Department of State produced a report on human hights practices in Poland. In the report we can read that the Polish parliament passed a public assembly law, a counterterrorism law, a surveillance law, media laws, and laws related to the Constitutional Tribunal which local and international nongovernmental organizations indicated may have a negative impact on human rights protection and the principles of democracy and the rule of law.