Court bans justice minister from commenting on Agnieszka Holland

'Green Border,' premiered at this year's Venice Film Festival to great critical acclaim and garnered the Jury Prize for Holland. Claudio Onorati/PAP/EPA

The Warsaw Regional Court has ordered Zbigniew Ziobro, Poland's justice minister, not to make public statements about film director Agnieszka Holland and her work, lawyers for Holland announced on Tuesday.

The verdict was passed in response to a case brought by Holland, an acclaimed film director, to protect her personal rights.

"As plenipotentiaries of Agnieszka Holland we announce that the Regional Court in Warsaw has issued a security order prohibiting Zbigniew Ziobro from making statements about Ms Holland and her work comparing her to criminals of authoritarian regimes," lawyers Sylwia Gregorczyk-Abram and Michal Wawrykiewicz wrote on X.

In early September, Ziobro tweeted: "In the Third Reich, the Germans produced propaganda films depicting Poles as bandits and murderers. Today they have Agnieszka Holland for that."

Holland has provoked strong reactions from members of Poland's ruling coalition with a film about irregular migration in Poland.

The film follows a fictional group of refugees trying to get into Poland from Belarus. Once across the frontier, however, they are sent back by Polish Border Guards, apparently indifferent to their plight.

'Green Border,' premiered at this year's Venice Film Festival to great critical acclaim and garnered the Jury Prize for Holland.

Commenting on the verdict on later on Tuesday, Ziobro called it "an attack on freedom of speech and freedom of public debate in Poland, which is guaranteed by the constitution."

"This is the court's involvement in the election campaign of Donald Tusk, (main opposition party Civic Platform - PAP) PO and (Polish People's Party- PAP) PSL, because it turns out that institutions controlled by these parties co-financed Ms Holland's film, which is why they want to shut us up. They will not shut us up, we will not be intimidated," he said.

"According to the court, Ms Agnieszka Holland can compare Polish soldiers and Border Guard officers to bandits, sadists and German Nazis. She can say that the people in power, democratically elected in Poland, are a brown rabble, that is Nazis. However, I am not allowed to respond to her words by standing in defence of Polish soldiers and Border Guard officers who are called such terrible names and insulted by her," Ziobro continued.

He added that he would appeal against the court's decision.

"These are not the times of communist Poland, these are not the times of Stalinist Poland, these are not the times of Henryk Holland (the father of 'The Green Border''s director - PAP), who could with impunity insult and spit on Polish soldiers, Polish uniforms, calling them bandits," Ziobro said.

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