Parliament pays respect to MP's deceased son

The Sejm, Poland’s lower house of parliament, has held a minute of silence in memory of the son of Magdalena Filiks, an MP from the opposition Civic Platform party, who took his own life in February.

Last Friday, Filiks announced the death of her son on social media.

"My son Mikolaj Filiks passed away on February 17th. Miki would have turned 16 on March 8th...". She also asked for the privacy of her family to be respected.

"The tragic death of a loved one is always a tragedy, and the death of a child is an unimaginable tragedy. It affected the son of our friend, a member of parliament," Speaker of the Sejm Elzbieta Witek said on Tuesday.

"Let's stop for a moment, I would like to ask you to commemorate the tragically deceased boy with a minute of silence," she said and all the MPs stood up.

The death of the teenager has led to fierce criticism of state-owned media and Law and Justice (PiS), the dominant party in Poland’s governing coalition.

Mikolaj committed suicide after a report by state-owned Radio Szczecin into the activities of a convicted paedophile led to him being identified as a victim of sexual abuse.

Although the report did not use his name the fact that it included details such as his age and that he was the child of an MP led to his identification.

Opposition politicians have alleged that Mikolaj’s easy identification was a ploy to damage the political career of his mother, and therefore responsibility for his suicide rests with state-owned media and PiS.

Donald Tusk, the Civic Platform leader, tweeted that they would hold PiS to account for all the "harm and tragedy they have caused while in power".

Government supporters have accused the opposition of trying to exploit the death of the teenager for its own political gain.