Human Rights in Poland: Entering Into Dangerous Waters

Marking the fall of yet another independent political institution, Adam Bodnar - Polish lawyer and human rights activist - was removed from the position of the Polish Ombudsman for Citizen Rights. The decision has been taken by the Constitutional Tribunal controlled by the same government Bodnar has been fiercely denouncing. His deposition that is about to take place within three months spells the death of one of the last bastions of a democratic country, boding ill for human rights all around Poland.

Bodnar has been on guard of human rights since 2015 when the Civic Platform (PO) was still in the government. The rise to power of the Law and Justice Party (PiS) in the autumn of 2015 has turned the tides. Yet, Bodnar did not lower his voice, becoming a nuisance for Jarosław Kaczyński, the party leader. Thus, throughout the last five years, he stood up to all types of human rights violations, whether it be judicial independence, reproductive rights, or LGBTQ+ rights. Ultimately, his experiences allowed him to arrive at the reasonable conclusion: Poland is no longer a democracy, but an authoritarian regime with the semblance of democracy.