25.01.2021, 08:23

An article by Paweą Gąsiorski was published on 13 November 2019 on Gminaredziny.pl (Screen: gminaredziny.pl)

The trial of Bowie Gosorsky, accused of defaming the local government of Rzdziny Municipality (Czstochowa poviat), begins today, because he wrote that “the municipality is making good money from the rubbish”.

Paweą Gąsiorski is the owner and editor of several dozen local websites that provide information on communal affairs, particularly in the province of Silesia. In one, on November 13, 2019, he published a text on waste management conducted by the municipality. He wrote on Gminaredziny.pl: “If the municipality is earning on garbage, although it cannot do it, then why are the current prices for garbage collection in Rdziny municipality among the highest in Cz شيstochowa? This is at the expense of the population. “

The text was accompanied by a scan of a letter from the municipality office, listing the money collected from residents in 2017 and 2018 for the collection, management and transportation of waste and the money spent for these purposes. Show that the municipality collected more than it spends. In another text, you multiplied the number of residents of the municipality by the amount it should pay from them. It was much higher than that charged by the garbage collection company. I found that residents pay a lot for the garbage – says Gąsiorski.

According to the mayor, Bowie Militovsky, the information is incorrect, which has contributed to the “loss of confidence of the population and the Rędzin community in local government.” On November 12, 2020, roughly on the first anniversary of G anniversarysiorski, the municipality made a special indictment against him under Art. 212 of the Penal Code for defamation. The date of the hearing before the Czstochova District Court has been scheduled today.

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This is how the mayor tries to intimidate me. I want to show that if I don’t stop writing about it, I will not stop fighting for access to public information and will continue to show wrongdoing, although I am also showing positive in society, I can expect more lawsuits or indictments – he says Gosorsky.

At the request of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (HFHR), attorney Thomas Pieda will represent him in court free of charge. The trial will be monitored by the Press Freedom Monitoring Center of the Polish Association of Journalists.

HFHR’s Dominika Bychawska-Siniarska says there have been cases in the past to protect personal rights filed by a local government unit, and possibly also indictments under art. 212.

Thanks to this case, we would like to reach the European Court of Human Rights, which has not yet dealt with the accusation under the article. 212 of the penal code brought by the municipality. In his ruling, he could propose to consider whether we should preserve the possibility of local autonomy emerging in courts against journalists in Poland. For example, in Great Britain, local government units and state institutions cannot file a lawsuit to protect personal rights because they do not possess them. It is funded by public funds and allowed to examine its activities – Bychawska-Siniarska Comments.

(JSX, 25.01.2021)

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