Polish state media is under fire after the suicide of the son of an opposition MP

Polish state media is under fire after the suicide of the son of an opposition MP

Poland becomes the target of media criticism after the suicide of the son of an opposition MP

Session of the lower house of the Polish Parliament. Illustrative photo.

Warsaw – The Polish opposition and many commentators criticize the public media controlled by the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party in connection with the suicide of the son of an opposition MP. Based on their reporting, the public was able to expose the boy as a victim of abuse.

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Magdalena Filiksová, a deputy of the opposition Civic Platform from Szczecin, reported on social media on Friday about the death of her 15-year-old son Mikolaj. The Notes from Poland portal writes that Tomasz Duklanowski, a journalist from the Szczecin branch of Polish Radio last December, reported on the case of an official who was imprisoned for sexually abusing children and giving them drugs. In his report, he noted that the victims were two children of a deputy from Szczecin and published their ages. People could easily find out which children they were. Public television TVP also reported on the case. After coming to power in 2015, both Polish Radio and TVP were controlled by people close to Law and Justice (PiS), and the opposition and independent organizations point out that the public media have become the mouthpiece of this national-conservative party.

PiS representatives pointed out that although the Szczecin case happened in 2020 and the perpetrator was convicted in 2021, the public was only informed about it in December by a Polish Radio journalist. They claimed it was because the official used to be a member of the Civic Platform. “The same people who are shouting about the fight against pedophilia are hiding that there is a pedophile in their ranks,” Education Minister Przemyslaw Czarnek said on public television TVP. However, according to Notes from Poland, a number of experts and commentators agree that the case was not published to protect the Civic Platform, but to protect minor victims.

Czarnka was criticized by influential Catholic commentator Tomasz Terlikowski, who accused the minister of “participating in the further rape of this child” by joining the witch hunt against the parents of a sexually abused boy. Terlikowsky was also angered by the suffering of a child who first suffered as a victim of sexual violence and second became a victim in the name of “dirty, cynical politics”. He called for all those responsible for this in the public media to be removed from their positions.

The circumstances of Mikolaj's suicide are being investigated by the prosecutor's office in Szczecin. However, her representatives have neither confirmed nor denied the information that they are doing this on the basis of an article of the criminal code related to inciting or assisting suicide.

According to Notes from Poland, social media users noticed that since the announcement of Mikolaj's death on Friday some people associated with PiS have deleted posts from their accounts in which they commented on the pedophilia case in Szczecin in recent weeks.