April 12, 2024

Press Freedom


Poland November 29, 2005

H.E. Aleksander Kwsniewski
Office of the President
Ul. Wiejska 10
00-902 Warszawa
Republic of Poland
Fax: (011.48.22) 628-4701

Your Excellency:

In our role as a non-profit organization dedicated to freedom of expression in the media, we write to express grave concern over the Warsaw District Office’s heavy-handed treatment of Grzegorz Gauden, editor-in-chief of the Rzeczpospolita daily newspaper.

Charged with “propagation, without permission, of news about preparatory proceedings,” Mr. Gaudet appears to be the victim of abuse of a section the Polish Penal Code, which covers “Offences Against the Administration of Justice.” The section, as you are undoubtedly aware, makes it an offense to reveal information dealing with a formal investigation. The charges against Mr. Gaudet apparently stem from a Rzeczpospolita article detailing financial irregularities involving Wladyslaw Jamrozy, former president of the management board of PZU S.A. What makes Mr. Gaudet’s case especially troubling is that the charges were leveled after a complaint by Mr. Jamrozy, who is himself under investigation and may face criminal charges. That he has been able to use the Penal Code to pressure a respected journalist and newspaper, adds to the injustice in this case. Also, the prosecutor in this case appears to have brought his charge without proving that the newspaper had access to the case files.

Since Poland ‘s record for using criminal defamation against journalists is abysmal, we hope that you will do all in your power to change this image by wiping out all criminal laws that hinder press freedom, and to see that justice is done in Mr. Gaudet’s case. His treatment has only reinforced the belief among media watchers that Poland believes the people do not have the right to know of corruption in their country.

Respectfully yours,
John Langone
Norman A. Schorr
Freedom of the Press Committee



Leszek Miller

Prime Minister

Office of the Prime Minister

Al. Ujazdowskie 1/3

oo-583 Warszawa

Republic of Poland

Fax: (011.48.22) 625-02637



Przemyslaw Grudzinski

Ambassador of Poland to the U.S.A.

Embassy of the Republic of Poland

2640 16 th Street, NW

Washington , DC 20009

Fax: (202) 328-6271



Ambassador Janusz Stanczyk

Permanent Representative

Permanent Mission of the Republic of Poland

to the United Nations

9 East 66 th Street

New York , NY 10021

Fax: (212) 517-6771