Elżbieta, Anna and Joanna are outspoken activists and human rights defenders from Poland. They have stood against hate and discrimination for many years and are fighting for a just and equal Poland. They have been targeted by the Polish authorities just because of their peaceful activism. Their demand for justice continues.
Now, they need you to fight for them, once again.
In January 2022, Elżbieta, Anna and Joanna were again acquitted after spending months on trial accused of ‘offending religious beliefs’, simply for distributing posters of the Virgin Mary with a rainbow halo, the colours of the LGBTI pride flag.
This was their second trial. The activists had been already acquitted in March 2021 by a lower court, however, the authorities appealed that verdict, bringing the activists back into court. The not guilty verdicts were a moment of huge celebrations, but their relief was short-lived. The Polish authorities appealed their second acquittal, at the higher Court of Cassation, so the three women’s fight for justice continues.
Once again, they now face up to two years in prison, just for standing up for LGBTI rights in a climate of hate and discrimination in Poland. Sadly, their case is another example of the constant harassment activists and human rights defenders face in Poland for carrying out peaceful activism. The new appeal against their acquittal shows the irrational determination of Polish authorities to use the criminal justice system to that end.
Having, creating, or distributing posters such as these is not a crime; it is freedom of expression, a basic human right.
The world is on these activists’ sides. Before their acquittals hundreds of thousands of people took action urging the Polish Prosecutor General to drop the unfounded charges. This solidarity gave Elżbieta, Anna and Joanna the strength to continue fighting for their rights.
Now, they need your support once again. They won’t stand for this harassment and neither will we.
Tell the Polish Prosecutor General to drop the appeal and ensure that Elżbieta, Anna and Joanna are able to carry out their peaceful actions without harassment or reprisals.