Poland Covid Rule-of-law (---) 

According to media and social media polish policeman will intercept walikig/riding a bicycle as this supposedly contradicts new regulation from the Health Ministry.

This will require some unpacking.

1/n

Poland Covid Rule-of-law (---) 

First is that social media reports are ridiculous including:

* People fined for buying booze (which is non essential);
* People fine for going to the shop at 11.40 AM (from 10 to 12 shops are only for older people), fined person claimed that they would wait till 12 before the shop;
* People fined for driving a car;
* People fined for excercising (jogging) on a pavement;
* People fined for riding a bike on a bike lane;

2/n

Poland Covid Rule-of-law (---) 

So officially we are disallowed from going out, except in certain circumstances: "Work, Volunteering for Covid and >>necessary needs for everyday life<<"*.

Also you can go out for religious cult reasons (cause we are a basically a theocracy now).

And officially we can need to be at least 2m apart when traveling on foot.

And we can't have parties.

* Except people younger than 18, they can leave only with their guardian;


3/n

Poland Covid Rule-of-law (---) 

So people on social media would claim that:

* Policeman would ask them where they are going (to check if their reason for being out is "necessary enough");
* Would inspect shopping bags to check if shopping was necessary;
* Would ticket bicycle riders claiming that they are riding for leisure not to get to work.

4/n

Poland Covid Rule-of-law (---) 

So people are scared to go out even if they have legit reasons.

The problem is that all these counter measures are illegal and unconstitutional, and pointless.

They are illegal cause you can limit movement only in a statue (ustawa) but it was done in ministry regulation (rozporządzenie).

Also you can't disallow going out (you can only regulate how people are going out --- so 2m rule is legal, dont-go-out is not).

5/n

Poland Covid Rule-of-law (---) 

So none of these things will stick in court, but there is a catch!

Policeman can send notice to sanitary inspection, they can fine you up to 30k PLN (<10k USD). You can appeal to voivoideship sanitary inspection. Also you need to pay the fine at this point. Only after they reject your appeal you can go to court.

Catch is they can postpone responding to your appeal until the covid epidemic is over.

6/n

Poland Covid Rule-of-law (---) 

What is also infuriating is that despite law being the same for 2 weeks it's interpretation changes.

And you don't know which of these carry more weight:

* FAQ at health ministry web-page;
* Twitter of "Country Police Command"
* Health minister's interview;

8/n

Poland Covid Rule-of-law (---) 

Also our ruling party had official anniversary of "The Accident in Katyń*", where they broke most of the sanitary rules. . .

* Accident in Katyń was when Polish president (and most of upper echelons of power) died in an airplane tragedy, due to gross mismanagement of the whole trip.

9/n

Poland Covid Rule-of-law (---) 

Apparently in my wife's home-town policeman started to ask people for "written proofs" that they are going for work.

This might be caused by local Covid hotspot, however it's perfectly illegal.

To issue "shelter at home" rule you'd need to issue "state of emergency", which ruling party is not willing to do, as they have good ratings now, and they don't want to postopne May elections.

10/n

Poland Covid Rule-of-law (---) 

So, "police command for Olsztyn city" published a statement where they threatened legal consequences for "publishing videos of police intervention". Among other things they cited GDPR ;)

Here is (polish only) link: olsztyn.policja.gov.pl/o02/akt

11/n

Follow

Poland Covid Rule-of-law (---) 

So now the parliament votes on abortion law (this was a citizens project submitted by Catholic foundation --- which heavily funded by government grants but that's another story).

Previously such project was stopped due to very large protest movement.

Now guess what? Assembly rights are effectively nullified, so no protests.

11/n

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