Poland clamps down on environmental defenders ahead of UN climate talks

The notoriety of the next IPCC climate conference (COP24 in November) is already infecting the host country, which is a heavy user of its own coal for electricity generation. Maybe COP should read COPS? They clearly suspect trouble is likely.

Poland recently passed a bill that bans spontaneous protests and allows police surveillance at this year’s world climate summit, reports DW.com.

Civil society groups say Poland wants to silence environmental defenders.

There are still eight months to go until the international community meets for the UN climate talks in Poland’s Katowice, but the host is already causing controversy.

Poland has passed a bill specifically for the UN summit which, according to environmental groups, will exclude members of civil society from the Paris Agreement process and endanger activists who have been threatened in their home countries.

Poland’s President Andrzej Duda signed the bill at the end of January, but it has gone widely unnoticed by the international community so far. It bans all spontaneous gatherings in the southern coal-mining city of Katowice between November 26 and December 16, spanning the entire period of the annual world climate change conference.

It also submits registered conference participants to government surveillance. It allows authorities and police to obtain, collect and use personal data of attendees without their consent or judicial oversight.

Now, a group of more than 100 environmental, women’s and indigenous organizations have signed a statement calling on Poland to repeal the law, arguing that it is a crackdown on human rights.

The bill “is setting a dangerous precedent that undermines basic human rights and fundamental freedoms, particularly including the right to freedom of peaceful assembly, association and of speech, and the right to privacy,” says the statement published by the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD).

Limited participation

Poland still allows demonstrations that are registered with local authorities in Katowice before the summit. But it restricts all spontaneous protests, activities and assemblies during the 24th ‘Conference of the Parties’ summit (COP24).

Continued here.

via Tallbloke’s Talkshop


March 23, 2018 at 10:13AM

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