Justice minister Ziobro wants Poland to back out of the Istanbul Convention

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TVN24 News in English, Reuters
Protest against violence against women in CzęstochowaTVN24
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TVN24Protest against violence against women in Częstochowa

Poland's justice minister Zbigniew Ziobro's has vowed to submit a motion aimed at withdrawing his country from the Istanbul Convention, which condemns all forms of violence against women and domestic violence. The minister, who is also the leader of a junior coalition partner party United Poland, has said the convention contains harmful, ideological elements. However, a government official told TVN24 on Saturday that the cabinet had not made any decisions in that regard.

Zbigniew Ziobro told a news conference his ministry would submit a request to the labour and families ministry on Monday to begin the process of withdrawing from the treaty, known as the Istanbul Convention.

"It contains elements of an ideological nature, which we consider harmful," Ziobro said.

Deputy investment and development minister, Artur Soboń from the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS), said on Saturday in TVN24 that minister Ziobro "indeed had every right to make such claim", but added the government had made no decision to withdraw from the convention.

The PiS party and its coalition partners closely align themselves with the Catholic Church and promote a conservative social agenda. Hostility to gay rights was one of the main issues promoted by President Andrzej Duda during a successful re-election campaign this month.

On Friday, thousands of people, mostly women, protested in Warsaw and other cities against proposals to reject the treaty.

"The aim is to legalise domestic violence," Marta Lempart, one of the protest organisers said on Friday at a march in Warsaw. Some protesters carried banners saying "PiS is the women's hell".

PiS has long complained about the Istanbul Convention, which Poland ratified under a previous centrist government in 2015. The government says the treaty is disrespectful towards religion and requires teaching liberal social policies in schools, although in the past it has stopped short of a decision to quit.

The World Health Organization says domestic violence has surged this year in Europe during months of lockdown aimed at fighting the coronavirus.


Źródło: TVN24 News in English, Reuters