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    May 19, 2016

    Piskorski's arrest in Poland: The start of EU-wide political repression


    May 19, 2016 - 
    Translated by J. Arnoldski



    Yesterday in Poland, the chairman of the pro-Russian party Zmiana (Change) and the head of the European Center for Geopolitical Analysis, Mateusz Piskorski, was arrested. The arrest was carried out by Polish counter-intelligence services, the formal reason being suspicion of “espionage on behalf of third countries.” Piskorski’s interrogation has continued for two days and his fellow party members have been searched. 

    This morning, the Polish security minister Mariusz Kaminski refused to officially comment on Piskori’s arrest but later admitted on the side that Piskorski was charged with cooperation with the special services of Russia or China. For now he could face 3 months in jail, and then the court could extend his arrest. 

    The associates of Zmiana have faced constant surveillance and pressure from the state since the moment of the party’s founding in 2015. The government of Poland called for reviews of the party’s sources of funding and Minister of Foreign Affairs Grzegorz Schetyna stated at a meeting of the National Defense Council that “extreme vigilance” is necessary in regards to Piskorski and is party. 

    Piskorski himself said on this matter: “We are neither the hand nor leg or any part of the body of Putin, the Kremlin, or Moscow. Briefly saying, we are for Polish self-identity.” The reason for the arrest of the politician most likely lies in precisely this. 

    “Mateusz Piskorski’s arrest is a manifestation of growing political repression and preventative measures before the upcoming NATO summit,” the political activist Justyna Wroblewska, an ally of Piskorski, believes. “It’s possible that the meaning behind this was that Piskorski intended to publish a book on the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of Andrzej Lepper. It looks like we have finally seen the first political prisoner in Poland!”

    Searches and confiscations took place not only in the office of the party but also in the Piskorski’s and many of his comrades’ homes, including those of his colleagues from the European Center for Geopolitical Analysis. The deputy chairman of Zmiana, Konrad Rekas, recounted how his home was broken into by men with guns who forced him down to the floor in front of his 9-year-old daughter. 

    Rekas was not arrested, but counterintelligence seized his documents and historical research on issues of Polish-Ukrainian restitution which he had gathered over the course of 25 years. Talking within him on the phone wasn’t possible for long. His phone was not seized, but in connection [with the investigation] it was jammed.

    “Mateusz recently published a prophetic article about the future of Poland in NATO. A week ago, the construction of a massive military base began and in July in Warsaw the NATO summit will be held. The Polish people are already beginning to express their protest. We pose the question: how can such policies be combined with state sovereignty? More and more Poles recognize that they do not want to see foreign soldiers in their country; they don’t want Poland to act at the behest of the aggressive neoconservatives of the US. After all, the main dream of the neocons is an open war with Russia. I hope that it’s not necessary to explain what role they’ve assigned to Poland in their plans,” Rekas said. 

    According to the journalist,the pro-Western Polish leadership has enough reasons to hate and persecute Zmiana. The basic tenets of Zmiana as presented by Piskorski include Poland’s exist from the EU and NATO [Zmiana does not actually support the withdrawal of Poland from the EU ; see Piskorski's Fort Russ interview - J.A.], the cancelling of anti-Russian sanctions, condemnation of Kiev’s aggression against its own people, and the recognition of the peoples republics of Donbass. 

    The British newspaper The Guardian today came out with material which analyzes the attitude of European countries towards the possibly upcoming exit of the United Kingdom from the EU. “Nationalist governments in central and eastern Europe have seized on Britain’s referendum as a precedent-setting opportunity to change their own relationship with Brussels,” the paper writes. 

    Guardian journalists believe that the example of the United Kingdom could be followed not by one country, but by all the countries of the so-called Visegrad Group.

    NATO and the EU can in no way prevent “turmoil” on their eastern borders during such a tense confrontation with Russia. The process of atomizing a number of countries in search of their own identities is gaining momentum across Europe. As long as it is possible to suppress these aspirations relatively quietly and discreetly by isolating the most active politicians or dispersing objectionable parties, Brussels and Washington can use this. It’s possible that Piskorski’s arrest is the beginning of large-scale political repressions against conservative and patriotic forces in Europe. But it seems that such actions can only have the opposite effect. The news of Piskorski’s arrest has spread across Europe and caused outrage far beyond the borders of Poland. 

    “We will not leave this repression of dissidents without a response and we will defend our rights in court. Do not be afraid, do not let them shut you up,” Konrad Rekas encouraged all supporters of national sovereignty on Zmiana’s official website. 





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