The government actively undermines the rule of law and human rights protection and curbs free expression and assembly. Judges and prosecutors face disciplinary proceedings for standing up for the rule of law. Civil society organization working on women’s rights and migration have had their state funding cut. Poland’s LGBT community has been under regular attack by the ruling party, declaring some towns “LGBT free zones.” Polish border guards routinely deny access to asylum at the Belarus-Poland border and summarily return asylum seekers to Belarus. Criminal investigations into a secret CIA detention program on Polish territory are stalled.

  • Europe/Central Asia
    On November 16, two EU member states blocked the adoption of the Multi-Annual Financial Framework (MFF) and the COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) in an attempt to prevent the adoption of conditionalities for the protection of the EU budget from breaches of the principles of the rule of law. This move has created a grave political crisis for the European Union.
    NGO Letter to Chancellor Merkel
  • Women's Rights
    Protesters with a banner reading "Women's Strike" take part in a rally against the Polish government’s plans to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention on prevention and combating of domestic violence, in Warsaw, Poland, July 24, 2020. © 2020 AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski
    In a Year of Pandemic and Pain, Women Fight Back
  • Women's Rights
    Unfounded charges of “offending religious beliefs” are being brought against three women human rights defenders in Poland for simply exercising their right to freedom of expression, a coalition of six nongovernmental groups said today. The first hearing in their case is scheduled for November 4, 2020 in the town of Plock. The Prosecutor General should drop the charges - and ensure that the three women are allowed to carry out their human rights work without harassment and reprisals by the authorities. The groups are Amnesty International, Campaign Against Homophobia, Freemuse, Front Line Defenders, Human Rights Watch and ILGA-Europe.