Warsaw mayor concerned by use of gas by police

"Such police actions, especially during an epidemic threat, are incomprehensible," wrote Trzaskowski. Tomasz Gzell/PAP

The mayor of Warsaw, has described the use of pepper spray by police on protestors at a recent abortion demonstration in the capital as “incomprehensible”.

During a peaceful protest on Saturday opposition MP Barbara Nowacka was sprayed in the face at point-blank range by a police officer despite holding up her MP identification card.

Rafał Trzaskowski, in a letter to the Warsaw Police Chief, said he was disturbed "by the use of direct coercion measures against peaceful protesters, including, above all, the use of pepper spray against women present at the (November 28) gathering, as well as against MPs, or the surrounding of people present at the events with a tight police cordon.

"Such police actions, especially during an epidemic threat, are incomprehensible," wrote Trzaskowski adding that "only an analysis, evaluation and public explanation of each incident will allow us to draw appropriate conclusions for the future."

But a representative of the ruling United Right camp said Nowacka shouldn't have taken part in the protest as it was an illegal gathering.

"Nowacka's participation in the illegal demonstration, encouraging people to take part in it is certainly inappropriate and I think that the police will defend themselves in the sense that Nowacka should not have been there," said Ryszard Terlecki, Law and Justice caucus head and deputy speaker of the Sejm (the lower house of parliament).