By VANESSA GERA, Associated Press
WARSAW, Poland (AP) – Police have confiscated the computer equipment of a journalist working for a major Polish newspaper who has investigated the country’s right-wing government.
The seizure of the equipment of Piotr Bakselerowicz, reporter for the liberal newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza, took place on Saturday in Zielona Gora, a town in western Poland 450 kilometers from Warsaw. The raid and the seizure of the equipment were carried out on the orders of the Warsaw police.
Roman Imielski, the newspaper’s deputy editor, said the police incursion had taken place without a warrant and “violated the fundamental right to journalistic secrecy in a democracy”.
He said in an article published on the newspaper’s website on Saturday that editors had “no doubt” that the raid was intended to “intimidate journalists” at the newspaper, citing other measures taken by the ruling authorities. against the independent media.
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Warsaw police said the journalist was not specifically targeted. He said offensive messages containing threats had been sent to Polish lawmakers, who reported the threats to the police. The messages were then traced to an IP address that led to that of a “little-known local journalist”.
Bakselerowicz has denied sending threatening emails.
“I never threatened anyone. For me it is a provocation or an attempt at revenge for writing disturbing articles, ”Bakselerowicz said.
Meanwhile, the newspaper’s editors pledged to use all legal means to protect its journalists “from harassment by authoritarian authorities.”
“We declare that we will not give in to repression and will not be intimidated. Criticizing any power and denouncing its abuses is our civic and democratic duty. Even when the abuse of power affects our journalists and ourselves,” they said. they stated.
The ruling party also recently sought to pass a law that would deprive the American company Discovery Inc. of its ownership of TVN, a Polish television network.
TVN believes the main focus is its evening news program Fakty, which provides critical coverage from the authorities and is watched by millions of people daily.
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