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Source: Amnesty International –

Poland: crackdown on Women’s Strike protests continues unabated

The Polish authorities are using a raft of heavy-handed measures to crack down on peaceful protests against a constitutional ruling which severely restricts access to abortion in Poland. Amnesty International has documented the authorities’ excessive use of force including pepper spray, the criminalization of peaceful protesters, and incitement of violence against protesters by public officials.

In a sign of escalation, on Wednesday, while Women’s Strike protesters peacefully gathered in front of the public TV building in Warsaw, the police ‘kettled’ them, together with the journalists covering the event, and used pepper spray.

Facing a near total ban on abortion, people in Poland have mobilized impressively. However, not content with violating their reproductive rights, authorities have used this opportunity to also crack down on their right to peacefully protest.