Tuesday, 22 October 2013

In Defence of Piotr Ikonowicz


UPDATE: PIOTR IKONOWICZ WAS TAKEN FROM HIS HOME ON 30 NOVEMBER TO BEGIN A THREE MONTH PRISON SENTANCE. ALONG WITH HIS WIFE AGATA NOSAL-IKONOWICZ HE HAS STARTED A HUNGER STRIKE IN SOLIDARITY WITH THOSE EVICTED FROM THEIR HOMES. 

Below I have translated a letter written by former prominent Solidarity activists to the President of Poland Bronislaw Komorowski. They are appealing for him to pardon the left-wing activist and former MP Piotr Ikonowicz. Ikonowicz, has been due to start a prison sentence since 14 October for leading a blockade that prevented the eviction of two pensioners from their home over ten years ago.
Dear Mr President,
We are writing to appeal for you to use your constitutional prerogative and pardon Piotr Ikonowicz, who from 14 October is supposed to be taken into prison custody.
We are disturbed that 13 years after blockading the eviction of two pensioners from their home, the organiser of this protest must go to prison. We are also unhappy that this decision was taken by one judge and that the defendant did not have the right to appeal. 

Regardless of our personal assessment of Piotr Ikonowicz’s public activity, we cannot agree to a situation whereby social activists helping the weakest and excluded are sent to prison. It is also noteworthy that the constitutional tribunal has since recognised the eviction of tenants onto the street as being against the constitution. Blockading evictions, for which Piotr Ikonowicz has gone to court, was therefore an act of civil disobedience in defence of the constitution’s values.
Piotr Ikonowicz has already experienced imprisonment after being interned during Martial Law. We cannot be indifferent to the fact that he must once again go to prison in a free Poland. As people who understand the full importance of these words, we would like to believe that the times when social activity brought the risk of imprisonment in Poland have passed.  
Yours Sincerely
Ryszard Bugaj, Władysław Frasyniuk, Ewa Hołuszko, Danuta Kuroń, Barbara Labuda, Ewa Milewicz, Karol Modzelewski, Józef Pinior, Zbigniew i Zofia Romaszewscy

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