Polish protesters take to streets to back embattled judges

International

People take part in a street demonstration to show solidarity with judges facing increased political pressure from the country’s right-wing government in Warsaw, Poland, Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Protesters in Poland have held demonstrations across the country to express their solidarity with judges who say they are facing increased political pressure and intimidation from the right-wing government.

The largest protest Sunday took place in the capital, Warsaw, in front of the Justice Ministry. Polish media reported that protests were also held in a total of 105 cities and towns, including Gdansk and Krakow.

Among the protesters was one of the judges whose case was a catalyst for Sunday’s protests. Judge Pawel Juszczyszyn was recently dismissed for questioning a recent appointment under new rules passed by the ruling Law and Justice party.

He told those gathered, “we judges must not be afraid. We cannot succumb to pressure because without free courts there are no free citizens and law-abiding Poland.”

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