Protesters face court after commemorations of Polish plane crash disrupted
PR dla Zagranicy
Police will ask courts to punish several dozen protesters who on Saturday disrupted commemorations in Warsaw of the fatal 2010 crash of the Polish president’s plane, Polish Radio reported.
Demonstrators in central Warsaw on Saturday evening. Photo: PAP/Marcin Obara
Families of the victims of the crash had appealed for calm ahead of the commemorations.
But members of the anti-government Obywatele RP group lay down on the road in front of the presidential palace, shouted and insulted families taking part in the commemorations, Polish Radio reported.
Police dragged off some of the protesters, and will apply to courts to punish several dozen of them, Polish Radio added.
Warsaw police said that Władysław Frasyniuk, an opposition activist during the communist era, faces an accusation of assaulting a police officer while seven other people face accusations of “malicious interference” in a religious ceremony.
In a speech in front of the presidential palace on Saturday, Jarosław Kaczyński, the head of Poland’s ruling, conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party, referred to recent revelations that body parts of Polish crash victims had been mixed up.
“This barbarity unfortunately has its defenders here,” Kaczyński said.
"The truth is triumphing... exhumations are showing the immensity of Russian barbarism, but also the immensity of the barbarism of the Polish authorities of that time," said Kaczyński, referring to the previous Civic Platform (PO) government.
The 2010 crash killed Kaczyński’s twin brother, then-President Lech Kaczyński, his wife, and 94 others, many of them top government and military officials.
A government commission, set up after the Law and Justice party came to power in late 2015, has claimed that the presidential plane was probably brought down by an explosion, and that Russian air traffic controllers deliberately misled Polish pilots about their location as they approached the runway of the Smolensk military airport in western Russia on 10 April 2010.
Despite repeated requests from Warsaw, Russia has refused to return the wreckage of the plane to Poland, adding to the anger that many PiS supporters still feel against Moscow seven years after the disaster.
Source: Polish Radio