Afrique Ameriques Asie Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
Poland18 January 2006

Editor Andrzej Marek freed on order of the constitutional court

Reporters Without Borders welcomes the release today of Andrzej Marek, the editor of the regional weekly Wiesci Polickie. The constitutional court finally decided to suspend implementation of his prison sentence for libel and set him free. Reporters Without Borders hails this decision by the authorities and hopes Poland will henceforth behave in a way more conducive to free expression.

16 January 2006

A journalist imprisoned for a press offence in first such case within European Union

Reporters Without Borders condemned as “shameful” the imprisonment on 16 January of Andrzej Marek, editor of the regional weekly Wiesci Polickie in Szczecin in the north-west.

The Polish journalist published an article in February 2001 headlined “Promotion of scheming” in which he exposed a corrupt official in the city of Police. Marek was sentenced in November 2002 then, on appeal, in November 2003, to a three-month prison sentence for defamation, suspended on condition he apologised to the official who had laid the complaint against him.

The journalist refused to apologise and his sentence was suspended after a plea was entered for a presidential pardon in September 2004. This did not succeed and the journalist has now been ordered to serve his time, nearly five years after the event.

“This imprisonment is shameful for a country like Poland, which has just joined the European Union and which is the sole member state to impose prison sentences on journalists for offences of opinion,” said Reporters Without Borders.

“Andrzej Marek should be immediately released. We once again call on President Lech Kaczynski to pardon this journalist who has only done his duty in informing the public,” the worldwide press freedom organisation said.

The organisation made a previous request to the new Polish head of state on 29 December 2005 to grant Marek the pardon he should have had under the previous presidency of Aleksander Kwasniewski.

  In this country
21 October - Poland
President Kaczynski threatens Polish TV reporter during EU summit
10 October - Poland
Constitutional court confirms law punishing media publishing unauthorised articles
30 August - Poland
Secret services raid journalist’s home to arrest ex-minister who blew whistle on tapping
9 August - Poland
Government urged to amend laws that restrict press freedom
26 June - Poland
Regional weekly editor told he will have to serve three-month prison sentence

in the annual report
Poland - Annual Report 2008
Poland - Annual report 2007
Poland - 2006 Annual report

Europe press releases
4 June - Kosovo
Rrokum TV station still excluded by national broadcasting network
2 June - Ukraine
Potential witness’s death deals severe blow to probe into journalist’s murder
2 June - Turkey
Woman journalist held for past five weeks on baseless charge of link to armed group
2 June - Russia
Journalist seeks asylum in Finland after being convicted for prison torture articles
29 May - France
Regrettable decision by appeal court to lift ban on magazine only if offending photo is covered up

5 February 2009 - Bulgaria
“Resignation or resistance, Bulgaria’s embattled press hesitates”
28 January 2009 - Russia
Fact-finding visit : Moscow double murder may have been linked to November attack on local newspaper editor
27 June 2008 - Turkey
Investigation report into the detention of journalist Haci Bogatekin, imprisoned for more than two months and facing ten and a half years in prison

Sign the petitions
Jusuf Ruzimuradov

Europe archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives