Poland: Charges against women for LGBTI Virgin Mary posters must be dropped

Amnesty International has joined leading human rights organizations in calling for the Polish authorities to drop charges against three women facing up to 2 years in jail after posting posters depicting the Virgin Mary with an LGBTI rainbow halo, ahead of the start of their trial on Wednesday.

Given the complete lack of evidence of a crime here, it is clear that these three women are being tried for their peaceful activism
Catrinel Motoc, Amnesty International

Around the world more than 140,000 people have joined an international campaign urging the Prosecutor General to drop the charges against the three women human rights defenders - Elżbieta, Anna and Joanna – who are being prosecuted for ‘offending religious beliefs’.

"Given the complete lack of evidence of a crime here, it is clear that these three women are being tried for their peaceful activism,” said Catrinel Motoc, Amnesty International’s Senior Europe Campaigner.

The charges against Elżbieta, Anna and Joanna should be dropped, and Polish authorities should amend their legislation on right to freedom of expression to bring it in line with international standards
Catrinel Motoc, Amnesty International

"Having, created or distributing posters such as the ones depicting the Virgin Mary with a rainbow halo should not be a criminal offense and is protected under the right to freedom of expression. The charges against Elżbieta, Anna and Joanna should be dropped, and Polish authorities should amend their legislation on right to freedom of expression to bring it in line with international human rights standards."

For more information or to arrange an interview contact at the court: press@amnesty.org stefan.simanowitz@amnesty.org  +44 2030365599

The first hearing in their case is scheduled for November 4, 2020 in the town of Plock.

The joint statement from Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, ILGA-Europe, Freemuse, Front Line Defenders and Campaign Against Homophobia, calls for the Prosecutor General to drop the charges and ensure that the women are allowed to carry out their human rights work without harassment and reprisals by the authorities.