OSCE urges Poland’s ‘re­straint’ with in­ves­tiga­tive re­porter

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD - THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

The Vi­ennabased Or­ga­ni­za­tion for Se­cu­rity and Co-op­er­a­tion in Europe says it is con­cerned about le­gal steps the Pol­ish gov­ern­ment is tak­ing against a re­porter who al­leges the de­fence min­is­ter has long-stand­ing ties with Rus­sian mil­i­tary agents and mem­bers of the Rus­sian mafia.

To­masz Pi­atek, an in­ves­tiga­tive re­porter for the daily Gazeta Wy­bor­cza, pub­lished his al­le­ga­tions about De­fence Min­is­ter An­toni Macierewicz in a new book, “Macierewicz and his Se­crets.”

The min­istry filed a com­plaint with mil­i­tary pros­e­cu­tors ac­cus­ing Pi­atek of “us­ing force or threats against a pub­lic of­fi­cial” and “pub­lic in­sults or hu­mil­i­a­tion of a con­sti­tu­tional body.” If Pi­atek is tried and found guilty he could face up to three years in prison.

The OSCE called on Poland Thurs­day to show “re­straint” in re­act­ing to the book “in or­der to pro­tect free­dom of the me­dia.”

The OSCE said that its rep­re­sen­ta­tive on free­dom of the me­dia, Har­lem De­sir, wrote to the Pol­ish For­eign Min­istry say­ing “au­thor­i­ties should not use the courts to si­lence the me­dia, whose role it is to hold them to ac­count.”

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