“This is yet another attack on the Campaign Against Homophobia during the recent weeks. In the 15-year history of our organization, we have never been attacked so frequently”- says Mirosława Makuchowska, the Vice President of KPH, commenting on breaking the window pane at the office. According to her, recent developments in Poland are to be blamed on politicians, who are giving consent to such behavior by their actions. At the same time, Mirosława Makuchowska announced that KPH will intervene and launch a petition to the Minister of Justice Zbigniew Ziobro.
On the night of April 13th, a young man broke the window pane of the KPH’s office. The event was recorded by a security camera, which had been installed in March, after three men tried to break into the office of the organization. On the video footage, one can see a young man making vulgar gestures toward the office of KPH and afterward approaches the window of the office. It’s worth noting that the Campaign Against Homophobia is not the only non-governmental organization in Poland, which has been attacked recently. In March, unknown perpetrators threw a brick at the windows of Lambda Warszawa, which also works for LGBT human rights in Poland. According to Mirosława Makuchowska, these incidents are linked to the overall political situation in the country.
“I am confident that the repeated acts of aggression directed to LGBT organizations are linked to the activities of PiS and the language they use towards vulnerable groups. Using phrases such as ‘the worst kind’ or ‘second-class people’ certainly encourages violence. We should also keep in mind that ‘the worst kind’ applies not only to LGBT organizations or feminists but to anyone who is not a supporter of PiS.”
Frequent attacks on human rights organizations also attracted the attention of the Ombudsman, Adam Bodnar. In the statement issued by the Ombudsman after the March attacks on the offices of KPH and Lambda, he qualified both events as hate crimes.
“Such incidents provoke questions about the efficiency of legislative measures to counter homophobic and transphobic violence and to enhance the protection of people, who experience it – says Pawel Knut, KPH lawyer. He also added that based on KPH’s observations, the Ministry of Justice does not plan to take any work on amending the Criminal Code that would increase the prosecution of homophobic and transphobic hate crimes.
Concerned by the frequency of recent incidents, Campaign Against Homophobia launched a public petition to the Minister of Justice Zbigniew Ziobro. The purpose of the call is to urge the Minister to make necessary changes in the Criminal Code that would enhance the protection of LGBT people from violence.
Website with the petition to Minister Ziobro: https://kph.org.pl/apelarka/