Robert Biedroń (pictured left) a member of the board of the Polish gay rights group Campaign Against Homophobia (KPH) was arrested and beaten by police officers in Warsaw on Thursday afternoon, the group has revealed.
Biedroń was observing, on behalf of KPH, the ‘Independence March’ organised by radical right wing nationalist groups National Radical Camp (ONR) and the All-Polish Youth (MW). When antifascist groups tried to block the march. “I went there as an observer for the Campaign Against Homophobia,” Mr Biedroń told a press conference at the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights on Friday
“They took out individual people, including me, from the crowd,” Mr Biedroń said. “But the worst thing happened in the police car. There, I was left alone with an officer. And, in simple words, I was brutally beaten. “I’ve dealt with human rights protection for many years now and I’m devastated by what happened.”
Tomasz Szypuła, president of KPH issued this statement on Sunday:
“Robert Biedroń, member of the KPH Board and its former President, accidentally fell victim to this violent behaviour. He was apprehended and beaten, not only at the moment of arrest, but also later, when he was handcuffed in a police car. For over 20 hours he was not advised of the grounds of the apprehension, the police did not provide him with the record of apprehension and denied him contact with his lawyer and his next of kin.
We are appalled and saddened by the conduct of the police. We fail to understand how such situations can still take place in a democratic state. For many years now, KPH has worked with the police to further improve the enjoyment of human rights and freedoms. On 11 November our trust in the police was abused. We demand that the misconduct of the officers be investigated and the perpetrators be punished.”