Prosecutor General files extraordinary appeal against nationalist march ban

Last year, the police clashed with far-right demonstrators, and public and private property was damaged during the confrontations. Leszek Szymański/PAP

The Public Prosecutor General, Zbigniew Ziobro, has brought an extraordinary appeal before the Supreme Court, requesting a lower court's decision prohibiting the registration of an Independence Day as a cyclical assembly to be revoked.

The Court of Appeal on October 29 upheld the earlier ruling by a court in Warsaw in favour of Warsaw City Hall which had sought a ban on a far right march in central Warsaw on Independence Day, overturning a province governor's decision to grant the march a priority status.

According to the prosecutor's statement sent to PAP on Friday, the adoption by the courts of an incorrect interpretation of the provisions "led to a restriction of the freedom of assembly guaranteed in Article 57 of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland."

"Due to the imminent irreversible damage in preventing the organisation of a patriotic event with a rich tradition, on an important national anniversary, the Prosecutor General also requested that the Court of Appeal in Warsaw issue a decision to suspend the execution of the decision of October 29, 2021," the statement read.

On October 25, Konstanty Radziwiłł, the governor of the central province of Mazowieckie, which includes Warsaw, signed-off on a decision to register the November 11 'Independence March,' as a cyclical assembly and that the decision would remain valid for the next three years.

This decision was questioned by Warsaw authorities and, on October 27, a Warsaw court ruled in favour of the City Hall.

Meanwhile, the province governor and organisers of the Independence March appealed against this ruling.

Both appeals were rejected. The court upheld the decision of the lower court and the validity of Warsaw City Hall's complaint.

In 2020, the Warsaw mayor banned the march due to epidemic reasons and his decision was upheld by two court decisions. However, the nationalists ignored the rulings and organised the event anyway, which was once again blighted by far-right violence, and became a high-profile spectacle for ultra-nationalist groups in Poland.

Last year, the police clashed with far-right demonstrators, and public and private property was damaged during the confrontations.