Statement of Civil Society for the Family on the Right of Polish Citizens to Protect Marriage, the Family, and Children without interference from International Organizations
We call on European Union officials, High Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe Ms. Dunja Mijatović, and other human rights officials to walk back sanctions and statements against Polish authorities. We urge them to be more cautious before they embrace politically motivated false narratives. Polish municipalities are adopting resolutions to protect the family and children democratically, without violating any human rights. There is nothing worse for the protection and advancement of human rights than politicization and double standards.
Civil Society for the Family is a coalition representing over two-hundred organizations dedicated to the protection of the family and the promotion of human dignity internationally. The official platform of the coalition may be found at the website www.civilsocietyforthefamily.org. The organizing committee of Civil Society for the Family includes the following organizations: Center for Family and Human Rights (C-Fam), Family Research Council, HazteOir, Human Life International, the Institute for Family Policy, the National Organization for Marriage, Novae Terrae, and Ordo Iuris for Legal Culture.
Recent events in Poland have once again exposed the political animus and double standards of the European Union, European human rights officials, and activist organizations.
Dozens of municipalities across Poland have democratically adopted political resolutions against the public dissemination of explicit and lewd information (sometimes referred to as LGBT propaganda). The resolutions state that this type of information violates Polish law, undermines the nature of marriage and the family and that it is harmful to children.
As a result of these resolutions, European Union officials have blacklisted these municipalities, withheld financial assistance, and prohibited their participation in EU programs. The political animus against Poland because of these resolutions, even though they are not binding, is such that European human rights officials and activist groups are now also unjustly demonizing Polish authorities in the case of the arrest and detention of Mr. Michał Sz.
Polish authorities detained Mr. Michał Sz. in August because he is suspected of participating in a vicious assault against a pro-life advocate at the hands of a group of violent activists who were protesting the municipal resolutions. The pro-life advocate was punched, kicked and thrown to the ground, had his van damaged, and had his telephone stolen. He sustained injuries as a result of the assault. When arrested Mr. Michał Sz., who is male, claimed that his name was “Margot” and that he was transgender.
Mr. Michał Sz.’s detention followed normal protocols and was approved by a Court following the presentation of evidence that satisfied the court that pre-trial detention was appropriate, according to Polish law. Among the reasons cited were a flight risk and evidence tampering. These fears were validated when, following his arrest and detention, Mr. Michał Sz.’s suspected accomplices and supporters violently assaulted the police officers who were escorting him into a detention facility. Five of them are now subject to legal proceedings as a result.
International interference from human rights organizations and officials in this case is more evidence of the unjustified political animus against Poland from the human rights establishment and the lack of transparency under which human rights mechanisms operate. Indeed, unlike in the cases of peaceful protests that were violently repressed in Spain and France, where EU officials and European human rights mechanisms remained silent, Polish authorities exercised restraint in dealing with protests and followed the law closely, including in the matter of Mr. Michał Sz’s pre-trial detention.
There simply is no reason for international institutions to interfere. These are internal affairs of the Polish nation. Polish municipalities are adopting resolutions to protect the family and children democratically, without violating any human rights. Mr. Michał Sz is being detained for a violent crime, following Polish laws and legal processes.
The sanctions imposed by the European Union on these municipalities are unjust and have no basis in law. Poland was targeted by the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe Ms. Dunja Mijatović, who called on Polish authorities to release Mr. Michał Sz. Ms. Mijatović had not even attempted to communicate with the Polish authorities involved in the case before interfering. She was relying solely on third party information from so-called “human rights” groups that may well be political partisans in the case.