Poland: Drop the charges against Elżbieta, Anna and Joanna

Elżbieta, Anna and Joanna are outspoken activists and human rights defenders from Poland. They stood up against hate and discrimination for many years and are fighting for a just and equal Poland.

Early in the morning on 6 May 2019, immediately after her return from a trip to Belgium and the Netherlands with Amnesty International, the police raided Elżbieta’s house. They claimed to have found posters of the Virgin Mary with a halo in the rainbow colours of the LGBT pride flag. The police arrested Elżbieta and detained her for several hours. After almost a year under investigation, in July 2020, Elżbieta together with two other activists, Anna and Joanna, were officially charged with ‘offending religious beliefs’ in relation to the posters. The trial begins on 4 November 2020.

Having, creating or distributing posters such as these should not be a crime. Everyone has a right to express themselves – we are all protected under the right to freedom of expression, even when some people might be offended by our expressions.

But Elżbieta, Anna and Joanna now face up to two years in prison if found guilty under these absurd charges. The case against them is not unique but an example of the constant harassment activists and human rights defenders face simply for carrying out peaceful activism in Poland.

Elżbieta, Anna and Joanna won’t stand for this harassment and will not be silenced. And neither will we.

Join us now urging the Polish Prosecutor General to ensure the charges against the three women activists for “offending religious beliefs” are dropped immediately, and that they are allowed to carry out their peaceful actions without harassment and reprisals by the authorities.