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Protesters rally against controversial judicial reforms in Poland

By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Warsaw (dpa) - Demonstrators took to the streets of Warsaw and other Polish cities to demonstrate for an independent judiciary in response to controversial reforms put forward by the nationalist conservative Polish government.

In the capital city, several thousand people assembled on Sunday before the Sejm lower house of parliament, chanting "Freedom! Equality! Fraternity!" and "Democracy!"

Krzysztof Lozinski, the leader of the Committee for the Defence of Democracy which organized the demonstration, said that the last moment had come to prevent the creation of a dictatorship.

"Every dictatorship ends in terror," he said.

Both conservative and leftwing opposition parties took part in the Warsaw protest.

On Saturday, several hundred people protested outside the presidential palace in Warsaw, while protests overnight Friday saw dozens of people block the entrance to the Polish parliament.

In dispute is a bill approved by both houses of parliament that paves the way for the 25 current members of the National Council of the Judiciary (KRS) to be ousted and new ones selected by parliament, rather than elected by judges.

The ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party currently has an absolute majority in parliament.

Earlier in the week, senior members of the European Parliament described approval for the reforms as a setback for the country‘s judicial independence.

President Duda must sign the bill for it to become law.


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