Polish peace activist imprisoned

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Food Not Bombs campaigner Wantoch-Rekowski imprisoned in Poland

On August 9 in the Polish city of Poznań, Krysztof Wantoch-Rekowski, an anti-hunger, anti-war campaigner from the international Food Not Bombs network was detained by police.

He was sentenced to six weeks imprisonment on the charge of "destroying" his identity card, which is a criminally punishable action under Article 276 of the Polish Criminal Code.

In a press statement made on August 15, supporters said that Wantoch-Rekowski did not destroy his card, he only stuck a "paper illustration" on it to prevent it from falling apart ("podkleił 'papierową ilustracją' swój rozpadający się ze starości dowód"). Typical (old-style) Polish identity papers are made of paper and soft carton and must be carried at all times.

Wantoch-Rekowski's supporters claim that his detention is an example of the "absurdity" of an increase in imprisonment rates against "the homeless, the unemployed and those living on the margins of society" which has taken place, according to them, since the parliamentary and presidential elections in late 2005 were won by the right-wing Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (PiS) party and one of its leaders, Lech Kaczyński.

The number held in prison in Poland increased by 5% from about 83,000 to about 87,000 in the first six months of 2006, making it one of the highest imprisonment rates in the European Union. The imprisonment level in Poland increased 100% since the post-communist epoch, beginning in 1989.

Sources

Wikipedia has more about this subject:
  • Anarchist Federation from Poland/Poznan, Anarchist Black Cross. "13.08.2006" — Rozbrat, August 13, 2006