Wednesday 15 November 2023

ABSURD: European Parliament strips four conservative Polish politicians of parliamentary immunity over comments about illegal immigration

 The European Parliament has voted to strip the parliamentary immunity from four conservative Polish Members of the European Parliament (MEP), who have been accused of so-called hate crimes for raising concerns about the dangers of illegal immigration to Poland and the entire continent.

The four MEPs are Beata Kempa, Patryk Jaki, Beata Mazurek and Tomasz Poreba. Mazurek and Poreba are members of Poland's ruling conservative party, Law and Justice (PiS), while Kempa and Jaki are members of the PiS-aligned, pro-Catholic conservative Sovereign Poland party. All four are currently facing charges in Poland of racially aggravated offenses.  

This charge comes after it surfaced that the four retweeted and liked a PiS election video on social media ahead of local elections in 2018. This video warned of the threats that an influx of illegal immigrants to Europe could cause. The video also warned how "enclaves" of migrants are causing surges in sexual assaults and violence wherever they are in the continent.

The election video also suggested that, should the liberal opposition retake control of Poland, the country would be flooded with refugees, and that by 2020 the country would see violence on the streets of the type witnessed by nations in the continent with more lax immigration laws.

MEPs argue their freedom of speech is being taken away

The first accusations against the four MEPs were filed by left-wing Polish activist Rafal Gawel and former human rights commissioner Adam Bodnar, who filed a subsidiary indictment in a Polish court in November 2021 after the government prosecutor's office twice dismissed his original claims as unfounded.

The indictment named 12 PiS politicians, four of whom are current MEPs. They are accused of violating Article 256 of Poland's criminal code, which punishes anyone who incites hatred based on national, ethnic, racial or religious differences with up to three years in prison.

A Warsaw district court found that the indictment had a valid legal basis, but that a trial could not take place because the four MEPs had parliamentary immunity from prosecution, leading to the European Union Parliament's legal affairs committee voting in favor of stripping their immunity. A large majority of committee members voted four times to strip the immunity of the four members.

The four MEPs have argued that the EU Parliament's decision to strip them of parliamentary immunity is a political one and an attack on their free speech by the "communist European state" in which someone can be "jailed for clicking [something] on the internet."

"They call it 'hate speech' and want to convict us of par. 256 of the Penal Code, which is punishable by three years in prison," said Jaki in a statement posted on X. Jaki added that a conviction means he will not be able to stand for future EU Parliament elections.

"They want to convict us for our likes [on Twitter]," said Mazurek. "This is a clear demonstration of arrogance and mockery of law and freedom, the foundations of democracy."

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