The Final Fight

#RELEASE MARGOT

Poland Punishes LGBT Rights Activist with Pretrial Detention

Warsaw police have arrested a nonbinary activist, Margot Szutowicz, who has been placed in pretrial detention, in the latest example of Polish authorities’ anti-LGBT actions, reports The Human Rights Watch (www.hrw.org).

Forty-eight other people, from a crowd of LGBT rights supporters protesting Szutowicz’s imminent arrest last month, were also briefly detained but have been released. An investigation by the Polish Commissioner for Human Rights found that some of those arrested were not protestors but merely bystanders, and further that police insulted and humiliated LGBT detainees.

Szutowicz is being held for two months awaiting trial for allegedly causing damage to a truck promoting false anti-LGBT propaganda.

In recent years, Poland has been engulfed by anti-LGBT vitriol, largely fueled by officials from the ruling Law and Justice Party. When campaigning for reelection in June, President Andrzej Duda actively deployed anti-LGBT rhetoric as an election strategy, calling “LGBT ideology” more dangerous than communism.

The European Parliament LGBTI Intergroup, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, and the Council of Europe SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) Unit have all called for Szutowicz’s immediate release.