Human Rights Watchdog voices concerns over new Polish police powers

The Venice Commission is returning to Warsaw for the second time this year, focusing on extended Polish policing power, amid the ongoing constitutional crisis.

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Polish parliament

A delegation from the European Commission for Democracy through Law is set to visit Warsaw after the Polish government adopted a law granting greater police oversight of online communications.

The law generated some concern both within and outside of country, with thousands of Polish protesters taking to the streets earlier in the year to denounce what they saw as increased government censorship.

Draginja Nadażdin, The head of Amnesty International Poland, told the PAP news agency that Polish president “was aware that this is not a perfect law.”

The delegation from the ECDL (also known as the Venice Commission) passed a resolution in March warning that human rights were in danger due to the Polish constitutional crisis.

The Council of Europe is a distinct organisation from the European Union and cannot make binding laws for its members.

In December, the Polish parliament also adopted a law giving the government greater regulation of the state-run press organisations.

The Law and Justice Party (PiS) has also been in a deadlock with the Constitutional Court since coming into power. Earlier in the week, a top administrative court ruled that the government must respect court decisions.

Three former Polish presidents have also criticised PiS, criticising the current ruling party for making “draconian” new laws, and eroding the rule of law in Poland.