Poland - October 2022
Judicial crackdown against abortion activists
An indictment has been re-filed by the District Prosecutor’s Office in Warsaw against three of the leaders of the Strajk Kobiet (Women’s Strike) protest movement, accused of causing an ‘epidemiological threat’. People took to the streets in October 2020, in what were the largest protests since the fall of communism, to demonstrate against the tightening of the abortion law. The re-filed indictment is regarded by some as a political manoeuvre, amidst a European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruling this month that extends concerns over judicial independence and the rule-of-law in Poland. It comes as a prominent activist faces trial for allegedly aiding an abortion and as three doctors, who did not grant life-saving abortion care to a pregnant woman in the wake of the tightened abortion laws, were charged over her death last month.