“I ask the Polish authorities to immediately release Piotr Ikonowicz, former member of parliament and Solidarność activist, whose arrest was clearly politically motivated and is totally unacceptable,” said GUE/NGL President Gabi Zimmer.

Piotr Ikonowicz was arrested on 30 October 2013 and sentenced to 90 days in prison because he protested against the eviction of a retired couple from of their home in Warsaw back in 2000.

“It's unacceptable that 14 years later he has been condemned to 90 days in prison, based only on the witness report of the landlord.  Other witnesses present during the protest whose statements clearly contradict the landlord's account of events were simply ignored,” continued MEP Zimmer.

She added: “His commitment to Kancelaria Sprawiedliwości Społecznej (KSS), an association for social justice, and his successful work in support of the poor in Poland, seem to be anathema to the Polish authorities who want to highlight 'economic success stories' and hide the fact that 700,000 children live in extreme poverty, according to reports this year in the newspaper Rzeczpospolita.

“The Vice President of the Polish Parliament Wanda Nowicka has stated that many other acts of civil disobedience and far worse criminal acts are pardoned in Poland, and former Solidarność activists, among them former MEP Jozef Pinior, have pointed out that since the year 2000 evictions have been forbidden by the constitutional court. Therefore not pardoning Piotr Ikonowicz is a clear signal that people defending the poor are threatened with prison sentences.”

GUE/NGL Press Contacts:
Emily Macintosh +32 470 85 05 08
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
European United Left / Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group

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