Since coming into power by an overall majority in 2015, the right-wing Christian-nationalist PiS party has engaged in a systematic effort to weaken and destabilize independent media critical of the government, creating a severe concern for political and cultural media diversity in Poland.
PiS politicians are not really hiding that this is another step of the “re-Polonization” of media dominated by foreign capital. Reporters without Borders (RSF) warned that “Polska Press is just the start” and PiS will follow Viktor Orban’s path of taking full control over the media landscape.
Political forces that extensively use hate speech in Latvia are not sizable, nor they receive the amount of support that their ideological counterparts in Western Europe do. Nevertheless, in recent years, those fringe ideas got a bit of momentum, with the creation of internet-based political movements.
Democracy is undoubtedly a greatly fragile regime. As history has taught us, it can defend itself as long as the people and politicians will actively participate in this uninterrupted and ongoing war of freedom – although it may sound a bit overdramatic, it is not.
The Law and Justice Party (PiS) has used three consecutive electoral victories in Poland to polarize society around the “gender ideology” issue, leading to the government’s unanimous opposition of every policy proposal that mentions “gender” or “gender equality”.
Polish laws on abortion are the strictest in Europe. The government refuses the right to safe abortion to people with wombs, allowing for abortion tourism and self-induced miscarriage. This wasn’t enough for religious fundamentalists in the Polish parliament.
It is not the first time that November 11th – Poland’s Independence Day to commemorate the restoration of its sovereign state in 1918 after 123 years of occupation by the German, Austrian-Hungry and Russian empires – had been hijacked by far-right groups wreaking havoc in the streets.
After the PiS government declared it is going to “repolonize” media, the US and German ambassadors to Poland, respectively Georgette Mosbacher and Arndt Freytag von Loringhoven, have met to discuss the freedom of press.
On October 22, Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal ruled that abortions for fetal abnormalities violate the Constitution, effectively imposing a near-total ban on abortion. Tribunal’s president Julia Przyłębska said that allowing abortions in cases of fetal abnormality legalized “eugenic practices“.
Zbigniew Ziobro, the Polish Minister of Justice, has vowed to submit a motion aimed at withdrawing Poland from the Istanbul Convention, the Council of Europe´s Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. He said the Convention contains harmful, ideological elements. He also stressed that Poland is doing just fine with protection of women rights and prevention of domestic violence without the Convention. Ziobro’s deputy Marcin Romanowski added that Poland should drop…