Jailed Polish Journalist Started Hunger Strike

Apr 22nd, 2011 | By | Category: Freedom of Speech, News, Poland, Political Persecutions

By Natalka Zubar

The Polish journalist Klaudiusz Wesołek from Gdansk, who has been jailed since April 19, has started a hunger strike in jail. He refuses to take solid food and consumes only liquids. He is protesting against the refusal to grant him the status of Prisoner of conscience.

See my previous story: Independent journalist Klaudiusz Wesołek from Gdansk Poland was arrested yesterday for filming a protest action that took place two years ago.

After the court declared him to be guilty of “violating the law and peace in city hall” on December 17 2009 Klaudiusz, who has a bachelor’s degree in law, sent an appeal to the Ministry of Justice that oversees the courts. He did not get any binding response. He appealed to ombudsman (Rzecznik Praw Obywatelskich) with no reaction as well.

On April 22, Zbigniew Kozak, a member of the Polish Parliament, and an activist of NGO “Porozumienie Rawskie” visited Klaudiusz in jail and he issued a signed order to provide a copy of the court case material. However, as of 14:00, the court had not provided the document, as there was no one to do that. It’s Good Friday and people were already at home or shopping, even though officially they were supposed to be at work.

Klaudiusz is kept in a cell with 3 other men, one of them is sentenced for domestic violence. Klaudiusz was not allowed to take anything with him when he was arrested. He is feeling OK and is fully aware of what he is doing in relation to his hunger strike.

On April 21 dozens of citizens held a protest meeting near the Kurkowa jail where Klaudiusz is kept. Two members of parliament were present: Zbigniew Kozak and Andrzej Jaworski. See the video

The next protest will be held on April 26.

Klaudiusz knew that he will be imprisoned. Two years ago he wrote verses for famous Russian song about prison life Taganka. He called the song Kurkowa. Listen to him

The song starts with:

The gypsy with her cards
Cannot foretell good fortune
The order is in the file
Of the Red court

All his numerous friends wish him good luck!

PS. I already alerted Freedom House on this case and am in communication with Reporters Without Borders. I will write to other human rights groups as well.

On the photo Klaudiusz this winter, the placard says “regimes change, their methods remain the same”

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