A European rights watchdog announced that Polish police sometimes punch and kick detainees. Through their statement it tries to warn that in Poland, people might be subjected to ill-treatment.
The Council of Europe’s anti-torture committee mentioned in their report that during their tour to the largest ex-communist EU state, a huge number of interviewees expressed that they were treated in a proper manner by the police. However, Europe’s anti-torture delegation came across many allegations of ill-treatment. Most of these accusations were about excessive use of force at the time of detention. Most of them were subjected to slaps, kicks, punch, truncheon blows, using teasers and locking the handcuffs very tightly.
Some allegations were also made regarding physical ill-treatment during questioning. The delegation in their study found that the persons taken into police custody remains under the considerable risk of being ill-treated.
The report came at a time when Poland witnesses mass street protest against the government. The Law and Justice (PiS) party won elections by using slogans that reflected national pride and promise of higher social spending. Although Poland’s interior and justice ministries refused to comment on the matter; later on in response to the report, Poland’s justice ministry stated that he had analyzed the cases and most of them were not verified. He mentioned that it’s baseless to draw up such serious allegations of torture or inhuman treatment of persons detained in detention rooms.
Tens of thousands of people hit the streets last year in order to protest against the government’s changes to the Constitutional Tribunala. Even the EU criticized this move for tightening its political control over judges and weakening the democratic state.
The protest and EU pressure didn’t brought huge changes, instead, PiS became popular. Now, there is a growing tension between the police and protesters at anti-government demonstration. One demonstrator stated that he was detained while making peaceful protests. However, the posting of huge police forces around the anti-government protests has become a regular thing.