POLAND: 28 DETAINED FOR INSULTING PUTIN?
Police have brutally detained 28 peaceful human rights protestors in the Polish city of Krakow today (Wed 26.01.2005). Claims of human rights abuses against the prisoners include: throwing people into water despite the sub-freezing temperatures; kicking people in the genitals, pulling their hair (dreadlocks) in order to exert pain, throwing two women to the ground and putting their knees on the women's backs despite no violence from the side of the protestors.
It appears that the 28 people detained will all be prosecuted for having insulted Putin</ a>, under legislation which makes it illegal to offend a foreign head of state present on Polish territory.
Urgent appeals to the Polish Police Minister, Premier and President and directly to the police detainment centre at Mogilska street 109 (telephone +48 12 615-49-21 - fax at central police station: +48 12 615 2607) where the human rights protestors are being detained may help free the victims and prevent any continuation of these abuses.
The main aim of the protest (pl) was against tomorrow's planned presence at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp of war criminal Vladimir Putin, responsible for the continuing systematic human rights violations in Chechnya. Protestors consider it hypocritical to invite a known war criminal to the anniversary of the freeing of a concentration camp. A wide consensus exists among protestors that other visitors like Dick Cheney are also war criminals who should be the target of protests, but points of view diverge on the degree of responsibility for war crimes or other human rights violations by the president of Israel (Moshe Katsav) and whether or not this is an appropriate time/place to protest against his policies. There is total consensus in supporting the paying of homage to the victims of the Holocaust: people are only protesting the presence of leaders themselves responsible for systematic human rights violations.
[Original Story - Poland Indymedia] | photos  | videos     [Urgent Appeals</ a> | [Prisoners Freed]