Poland's ruling party leader says protesters committing a 'grave crime'

Prawo I Sprawiedliwość/Facebook

Demonstrations amid the pandemic will cost many people their lives and those who promote them and take part in them bring about a collective danger and commit a grave crime, Jarosław Kaczyński, leader of Poland's conservative ruling party Law and Justice (PiS) said on Tuesday.

Jarosław Kaczyński also appealed to PiS members to "defend the Church."

The leader of PiS also ruled out the possibility of changing the judgment of the Constitutional Tribunal, as well as the passage of a law that would allow "abortion on demand."

"On October 22, the Constitutional Tribunal issued a verdict regarding the constitutionality of an article of the 1993 law, which bans abortion, but which also permits it in certain circumstances, including cases of an irreversibly damaged foetus," Kaczyński said in a statement published on Facebook.

On Thursday, the Polish constitutional court ruled that clauses permitting abortion in cases of an irreversibly damaged foetus were unconstitutional. Abortion is allowed in Poland also in cases where the pregnancy is a threat to the mother's life or health, or when the pregnancy is the result of rape.

"The Constitutional Tribunal ruling regarding abortion is fully constitutional, and, what is more, in the light of the Constitution, it could not be different," Jarosław Kaczyński stated.

The PiS leader stated that the Constitution had been adopted in 1997 by parliament, in which the left had a majority. "The Constitutional Tribunal ruling has become a cause or a pretext for violent social protests, which have been taking place during an extraordinary situation. We have a severe COVID-19 pandemic. We are in a situation, in which all gatherings of more than five people have been banned. We have a situation, in which these demonstrations will surely cost many people their lives," he said.

Kaczyński also stated that authorities not only had the right but also the obligation "to oppose such incidents."

Referring to attacks against churches, Kaczyński said it was a completely new occurrence in the history of Poland, and a fatal development. "The Church could be evaluated in various ways, one could be a man of faith or a non-believer - Poland ensures full religious tolerance - but this moral trust, which is held by the Church, is the only moral system commonly known in Poland," he added.

He also said that Polish churches must be defended at all costs, and called on all PiS members and supporters to take part in the defence of the Church, in the defence of that which was being attacked today, and being attacked not by accident.

The ruling party leader also appealed for the defence of Poland and patriotism, and called for determination and courage in this respect. Kaczyński said that this was the time when 'no' had to be said to everything that could destroy the country. "Let us defend Poland," he concluded.