Warsaw prosecutor continues hearing of parliament protesters

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The district prosecutor in Warsaw on Monday continued the hearing of parliamentary protestors whose pictures were published last week. One of the two men who were questioned on Monday was charged with insulting a journalist outside the parliament building during protests in mid-December.

The man was the second to face charges following another hearing on 18 January when Jakub K. (name withheld under Polish privacy laws) was accused of insulting a TV cameraman. He could face jail time or a suspended sentence.

Speaking to journalists outside of the prosecutor’s office on Monday, one of the two protestors, Mariusz Malinowski, said that the hearings and the publishing of the photos were “an attempt to frighten” people.

He added that he hopes the prosecutor “will listen” to him and “say that he made a mistake”.

“I did not do anything wrong, I was called here by the prosecutor, because I turned myself in to the police, because my photo was made public on the police website,” he said.

The protestors are accused of disorderly conduct, and of blocking governing Law and Justice (PiS) MPs from driving away from the parliament building on 16 December, as opposition deputies protested inside.

Prime Minister Beata Szydło said last week that the government will not allow people to feel threatened.

“We will not allow anyone to be worried about their trip to school, to the store, or as in the case of December events, to leave parliament, because an angry crowd … wants to disrupt someone’s peace or threaten [them],” Szydło said.

On Wednesday, Interior Minister Mariusz Błaszczak announced an inquiry had been launched into protests outside the parliament building in Warsaw, which started on 16 December when opposition MPs started a sit-in inside.

Błaszczak also said police had listed 80 people who allegedly broke the law while they gathered outside parliament in the protest, which blocked MPs’ cars from leaving the building.

Photos of 21 people were published on the police website.

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