Police confiscated the computer equipment of a journalist working for a major newspaper in Poland that has investigated the country’s right-wing government.
The seizure of the equipment of Piotr Bakslerowicz, a reporter for the liberal Gazeta Wyborza newspaper, took place on Saturday in Ziona Góra, a town in western Poland, 450 kilometers (280 miles) from Warsaw. The equipment was raided and seized on the orders of the police in Warsaw.
The newspaper’s deputy editor, Roman Imelsky, said the police infiltration took place without a warrant and “an attack against the fundamental right of journalism to privacy in a democracy.”
He said in an article published on the newspaper’s website on Saturday that editors had “no doubt” that the police raids were meant to “intimidate journalists” of the newspaper, citing other moves by ruling officials against independent media. has gone.
Warsaw police said the reporter was not specifically targeted. It said that offensive messages containing threats had been sent to Polish lawmakers, who had reported the threats to the police.
The messages were then traced to an IP address, which led to the detection of a “little-known local journalist”.
Buxelrowicz denied sending any threatening emails.
“I’ve never threatened anyone. To me, it’s a provocation or an attempt at revenge for writing an inconvenient article,” Buxelrowicz said.
Meanwhile, the newspaper’s editors vowed to use all legal means to protect their journalists “from harassment by authoritarian authorities”.
He said, “We declare that we will not succumb to oppression and will not allow ourselves to be intimidated. It is our civic and democratic duty to criticize all power and expose its abuses. Even when abuse of power occurs. Affects our journalists and ourselves.”
The ruling party also recently sought to pass a law that would strip US company Discovery Inc. from ownership of TVN, a Polish television network.
TVN believes that its main purpose is the evening news program Fakty, which provides critical coverage of the authorities and is watched by millions of people daily.