KRRiT's actions in connection with information on journalist surveillance

19.08.2016
Jan Dworak, Chairman of the National Broadcasting Council, requested Prime Minister Beata Szydło to provide more detailed information regarding the surveillance of journalists over the years 2007-2015.
In a letter dated 9 June 2016, the KRRiT Chairman requested a presentation of the information that formed the basis of the Sejm address by Mariusz Kamiński, Special Services Coordinator, on the surveillance of fifty-two journalists from 2007-2015.

The National Broadcasting Council has repeatedly criticized violations of basic democratic values, such as the freedom of speech and expression, for example in the case of the detainment of journalists at the headquarters of the National Electoral Commission on 20 November 2014.

During a Sejm debate in May of this year, Mariusz Kamiński informed the chamber that the surveillance of journalists involved their telephone records and included analyses of the persons they had contacted by phone, and also involved determining their addresses and collecting information on their family situation. Some journalists were also victims of surveillance operations and wiretapping.

On 2 June, the Board of the Polish Journalists Association released a statement demanding the formation of a special parliamentary investigation commission as well as the punishment of those responsible for breaking the law.

In response to Jan Dworak's letter, Mariusz Kamiński, Special Services Coordinator, sent the text of the Sejm address along with a list of names of the journalists targeted by the security services. The minister also informed KRRiT that the investigation into the report of the possible crime would be conducted by the Appellate Prosecutor's Office in Kraków.

On 4 July 2016, the KRRiT Chairman again requested Prime Minister Beata Szydło to send more detailed information. In his letter, Jan Dworak drew attention to the issue of the services' powers to conduct surveillance of journalists in light of the recently passed anti-terrorism act, which gives them a broader range of citizen surveillance capabilities, including the surveillance of journalists. The KRRiT Chairman also requested information on the conclusions reached by government bodies on the situation described in the minister's address, concerning in particular the rules for overseeing the special services' operations against media representatives and on the implementation of appropriate procedures to guarantee journalists' freedom of speech and the safety of their work, broadly understood.

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tel: ( 48 22) 597 3000, fax (48 22) 597 3180

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