Wednesday, March 24, 2021

No freedom of speech in Poland

In a functioning democracy, calling a politician a moron is practically a human right. Debate is expected to be robust, and this includes assessing the personal characteristics of public figures. But not in Poland:

A Polish writer faces a possible prison sentence for insulting President Andrzej Duda by calling him a “moron” over comments the latter made about Joe Biden’s US election victory.

Jakub ┼╗ulczyk, the screenwriter behind the popular TV series Blinded by the Lights and Belfer, said prosecutors had charged him under an article in the criminal code for insulting the head of state in a Facebook post.

“I am, I suspect, the first writer in this country in a very long time to be tried for what he wrote,” he said on Facebook.

Poland has become increasingly authoritarian over the past few years, as the Law and Justice party has dug its claws in, but this is a new low, and suggests they may be heading in the same direction as Hungary and Spain.