Polish journalist imprisoned for libelling municipal employee
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Marek is the editor of a regional weekly newspaper, the Wiesci Polickie (news from the town of Police). In February 2001, he published an article alleging that a local municipal employee, who privately ran anagency, had a conflict of interest in which he profited from his position to obtain business for his agency.
In November 2002, Marek was found guilty of defamation. Upon appeal in November 2003, he had the three-month prison sentence suspended on the condition that he apologise to the libellee. Marek refused to apologise and applied for a presidential pardon in March 2004. This was eventually refused. On March 23, 2004, a court insuspended the application of the sentence by six months due to problems with Marek's wife's pregnancy.
European Union country in which prison sentences are imposed for "offences of opinion" and that this is the first such occurrence in the EU. On July 18, 2003, was sentenced to six months of community service for displaying a work of art that showed a penis on a cross. On January 5, 2005, was fined 20,000 złoty (about 5000 euros) for having insulted Pope John Paul II, who qualified for legal protection against insults due to his role as a visiting . Neither of these penalties were prison sentences.claims that Poland is the only
Polish websites are calling for appeals to the United Nations protesting the prison sentence.
- "Journalist begins 3-month jail term for criminal libel" — , January 17, 2006
- "A journalist imprisoned for a press offence in first such case within European Union" — , January 16, 2006
- Witold Bachorz. "POLSKIE SĄDY DOGANIAJĄ BIAŁORUŚ: Dziennikarz do więzienia" — , 2003
- critto. "Andrzej Marek w więzieniu: PISZMY SKARGI DO ONZ-u!!!" — , January 16, 2006