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Poland: authorities must refrain from excessive force during protest against abortion restrictions

© Grzegorz Żukowski/Amnesty International

Large protests expected today

Protesters have faced excessive police force and been arbitrarily detained

Women in Poland have endured ‘attack after attack on their reproductive rights’ - Nils Muižnieks

 People peacefully protesting against the new restrictions on abortion in Poland have faced excessive use of force by police officers and have been arbitrarily detained without access to lawyers over the last few days. Ahead of large protests expected today, Draginja Nadazdin, Director of Amnesty International Poland, said:

 “The massive wave of support for women in Poland is a sign that the Government and the authorities cannot simply continue to violate women’s rights without opposition.

“Women in Poland are living under one of the strictest regimes in Europe in terms of access to abortion.

“Their right to protest against these restrictions must be upheld. The police must facilitate those wishing to protest peacefully in support of women, including by safeguarding protesters against harassment and violent attacks by counter-demonstrators.”

 Nils Muižnieks, Director of Amnesty International’s European Regional Office, said:

“The international community is watching and stands with the women of Poland. We have seen women in Poland endure attack after attack on their reproductive rights.

“The EU and other international actors must not only speak of solidarity with Polish women and others from all walks of life who have joined them, they must call forcefully on Poland to uphold women’s rights and to protect and promote peaceful protest. The time is now.”

 

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