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15th May 2019, 16:11:31 UTC

Elżbieta Podleśna is an outspoken activist and human rights defender from Poland. She has stood up against hate and discrimination for many years and is fighting for a just and equal Poland.

Early in the morning on 6 May, immediately after her return from a trip to Belgium and the Netherlands with Amnesty International, the police raided Elżbieta’s house. They claimed to have found posters of the Virgin Mary with a halo in the rainbow colours of the LGBT pride flag. The police arrested Elżbieta and detained her for several hours, and confiscated her electronic equipment, including laptop, phone and memory cards. She was charged with ‘offending religious beliefs’, a criminal offence that carries two years imprisonment.

Having, creating or distributing posters such as these should not be a crime. Everyone has a right to express themselves – we are all protected under the right to freedom of expression.

But Elżbieta now faces up to two years in prison if found guilty under these absurd charges. She is being put through several legal proceedings and this is just another example of the constant harassment she faces simply for carrying out her peaceful activism.

Elżbieta won’t stand for this harassment and will not be silenced. And neither will we.
Join us now urging the Polish Minister of Interior to ensure the charges against Elżbieta Podleśna for “offending religious beliefs” are dropped immediately, and that Elżbieta is allowed to carry out her peaceful actions without harassment and reprisals by the authorities.

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