LGBT activist Margot released from detention after three weeks

TVN24 News in English, Reuters
Demonstration in support for arrested LGBT activist Margot
Demonstration in support for arrested LGBT activist MargotTVN24
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TVN24Demonstration in support for arrested LGBT activist Margot

After three weeks in temporary detention, LGBT activist Margot was released on Friday, her attorney Prof. Piotr Girdwoyń told TVN24 reporter.

Margot was detained on August 7 after being accused of hanging rainbow banners over statues and damaging an anti-abortion campaigner's van. The court ordered she would be detained for 2 months.

TVN24 reporter Magdalena Raczkowska said on Friday that Margot's attorney, Prof. Piotr Girdwoyń, had informed her about his client's release from detention.

Raczkowska added that Margot's earlier release was partially possible thanks to letters of support written by many notable figures such as: Father Adam Boniecki, Chief Rabbi of Poland Michael Schudrich, Jacek Taylor - attorney for political prisoners in communist era, as well as actress Maja Komorowska.

Street protest after arrest for Margot

Several thousand people waving rainbow flags protested on August 8 in the centre of Warsaw to demand the release of Margot.

Crowds chanted "Give us Margot back!" and "Rainbow does not insult you!" outside Warsaw's Palace of Culture.

The peaceful gathering applauded activists hanging another rainbow flag on a statue in front of the Palace, while police officers filmed the performance and the protest leaders.

The police detained 48 people that day, who were trying to stop the authorities from jailing Margot, the activist accused of hanging flags on statues of Jesus and others and destroying a the van of an anti-abortionist.

"We are here to protest against the fact that these people were detained by the police," one of the protesters said at the time.

The police started releasing detained protesters the following day, but not Margot.

She is a member of the activist group "Stop Bzdurom". The group have said they hung flags on statues last week as part of a fight for LGBT rights, an issue thrust into the heart of public debate in Poland during last month's presidential election.

Call for release

The commissioner for human rights at the Council of Europe, a rights watchdog, called for the immediate release of the activist.

"Order to detain her for 2 months sends very chilling signal for freedom of speech and LGBT rights in Poland," Commissioner Dunja Mijatovic tweeted.

The ruling nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party says LGBT rights are part of what it calls an invasive foreign ideology that undermines Polish values and the traditional family.

Condemning the protest, Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro said authorities had to act or face "even more violent" attacks by activists.


Źródło: TVN24 News in English, Reuters

Źródło zdjęcia głównego: Adam Stepien / Agencja Gazeta

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