22 Dec 2017

One woman’s battle against the most powerful politician in Poland

55-year-old Krystyna Malinowska sued Jarosław Kaczyński, the president of the ruling party PiS, who governs Poland from the political backstage. She is sick of being insulted by Kaczyński’s rhetoric and demands respect.

Anna J. Dudek
Anna J. Dudek Wysokie Obcasy, Global
Source: Wysokie Obcasy
One woman’s battle against the most powerful
politician in Poland - NewsMavens
Jarosław Kaczyński. Wikimedia Commons

Why this story matters:

politics, women's issues, human rights

On December 15, 2017, the first hearing of the process took place in the district court in Warsaw. Jarosław Kaczyński is accused of violating Krystyna Malinowska’s personal rights, yet he didn’t bother to show up in court. The next hearing will take place in March. The plaintiff declared that, if necessary, she will seek justice in European institutions.

Her frustration with Kaczyński started in 2015, when he famously told TV Republika:

"There is a fatal tradition of national treason in Poland. (...) It is in the genes of certain people, the worst sort of Poles. They are very active now because they feel threatened."

Such was his view on the people who do not share his vision of the world. One of the representatives of the "inferior sort" is Krystyna Malinowska from Bydgoszcz (a Polish city of 350,000 inhabitants). In an interview with “Wysokie Obcasy”, she explains why she decided to accuse Kaczyński of violating her personal rights:

"I was sick of being humiliated and insulted. All that PiS does is show disdain for common people. I did it because I value respect, the rule of law and democracy," she declares.

Malonowska felt continuously insulted but when people of her political orientation were called "traitors and informers conspiring against Poland with EU institutions" it was a step too far.

"I felt offended because as a citizen of the EU I am obliged to inform the European Commissioners about the improprieties in my country. This is why I wrote e-letters, one of them called" The cry of despair", and I sent them to MEPs and commissioners," explains Malinowska.

In total, she sent over 600 emails. She didn’t receive replies to all of them, but many politicians -- including Donald Tusk and Guy Verhofstadt -- responded to her "cry of despair".

Currently proceedings are in progress and Krystyna Malinowska awaits an apology that, she believes, she and citizens like her are entitled to.

Malinowska emphasizes that she is fighting for normality -- a “normal” future for her children and grandchildren.

Details from the story:

  • Law and Justice (PiS) party won the general elections in 2015. Two years later, they are supported by about 40% of the electorate.
  • The non-parliamentary opposition and activists regularly demonstrate against methods deployed by the ruling party, especially those regarding reforms to the justice system and Constitutional Tribunal.
  • In 2015, the president of PiS, Jarosław Kaczyński, called his political adversaries the "inferior sort."
  • In December 2017, in Warsaw, the first hearing of the “Malinowska versus Kaczyński” trial took place. The citizen sued the politician for infringement of personal rights.
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