22 Jul 2020 Lvl. 2
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Alert created on: 07 May 2020 n° 49/2020 Poland

Photojournalist Wojciech Atys Taken to Court after Reporting on a Protest

Source of threatState
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner Article 19 EFJ/IFJ IPI
Partner Article 19 EFJ/IFJ IPI
"Gazeta Wyborcza" photojournalist Wojciech Jakub Atys is being taken to court for breaking quarantine measures. On 29 March 2020, the journalist took photos of a protest by two activists in front of the house of Law and Justice party leader Jarosław Kaczyński. According to police officers, the journalist broke the rules of movement during the COVID-19 pandemic by not maintaining the required distance of 1.5 meters between persons and participating with protester and other journalists in a gathering of 9 persons. In addition to the "Gazeta Wyborcza" photojournalist and the protesters, crews from public broadcaster TVP and press agency PAP were also present, and the police checked the identity papers of all journalists. Atys claimed that he did not take part in the gathering, that everyone kept the required distance and that his role was solely to report on the event as a journalist. In a letter dated 23 April 2020, the "Gazeta Wyborcza" editors informed the commander of the Warsaw Żoliborz police station that Atys did not participate in the gathering, but was carrying out journalistic activities at the request of his editorial board management.
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