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News > Press Releases 2019 > Czech Ombudswoman Anna Šabatová supports the Polish Ombudsman who faces criticism for defending human rights in Poland

Czech Ombudswoman Anna Šabatová supports the Polish Ombudsman who faces criticism for defending human rights in Poland

04. 07. 2019

Number of international organisations and networks, namely ENNHRI, Equinet, GANHRI, IOI and OHCHR Europe, recently issued a statement in which they openly supported the Commissioner for Human Rights of Poland Adam Bodnar who is currently facing a strong criticism including the hateful campaign against him and hate speech for publicly protecting the right to a fair trial and the prohibition from inhumane and degrading treatment.

The Polish Commissioner for Human Rights („Ombudsman“) has also been entrusted by the functions of the national human rights institution (NHRI) in Poland – the institution whose task is to monitor, promote and protect human rights. Furthermore, the Ombudsman was designated the task of NPM (National Preventive Mechanism) under the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degarading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT) by the parliament in 1987. As follows, the Ombdusman is an independent institution whose main task is to defend human rights and fundamental freedoms of every person when such rights or freedoms are not respected by the public authorities or when there is a risk of their violation.

The Polish Commissioner Adam Bodnar was exposed to a hateful campaigne and hate speech of some polititians and media, including the attacks on his personal life, for publicly defending the right to a fair trial and the right not to be a subject to inhumane and degrading treatment of a murder suspect. This is to be considered as an attack on the independence of the Ombudsman in Poland and as a denial of his legal and constitutional obligation to defend human rights and fundamental freedoms of every person. Therefore, the Public Defender of Rights of the Czech Republic Anna Šabatová decided to openly express a support to her Polish colleague.

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