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For calling President a “moron,” a Polish writer faces jail.

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For calling President a "moron," a Polish writer faces jail.
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For calling President a "moron," a Polish writer faces jail.

For calling President a “moron,” a Polish writer faces jail.

 

On social media, a Polish writer faces up to three years in jail for calling the country’s president a “moron.”

Jakub Zulczyk had chastised Polish President Andrzej Duda, a loyal friend of former President Donald Trump, for his reaction to President Joe Biden’s election victory last year.

On Monday, Zulczyk posted on Facebook that a district prosecutor in Warsaw had lodged an indictment against him based on a penal code article that made insulting the head of state illegal.

Zulczyk believes he is “the first writer in this country in a long time to be prosecuted for what they wrote,” as he put it.

In the post-communist period, people have even been charged with insulting previous Polish presidents under the country’s broad insult laws. The most probable penalty is fines, fines, or community service, rather than years in jail.

The situation, however, comes amid what many see as a deterioration of democratic values in Poland after the right-wing populist Law and Justice party took power in 2015. Government opponents charge that the authorities use prosecutorial powers actively to help those in power.

The remark in question is Zulczyk’s critical response to Duda’s congratulatory tweet after US media declared Biden the winner on Nov. 7.

“Congratulations on a great presidential campaign,” Duda said to Biden. Although we await the Electoral College’s nomination, Poland is committed to maintaining a high-level and high-quality PL-US strategic partnership in order to forge an even stronger alliance.”

Many other European leaders were tweeting full-throated congratulations to Biden at the time of Duda’s tweet. Many citizens in the United States chastised Duda for claiming that Biden’s win was not final and that the Electoral College might still change the outcome.

On the same day, Zulczyk posted on Facebook that despite having a master’s degree in American studies, he had never heard of a “nomination by the Electoral College” in the American electoral system. He said that the Democratic candidate had won the election by a wide margin.

“Joe Biden is the United States’ 46th president. He said, “Andrzej Duda is a moron.”

Prosecutors based their prosecution on a private individual’s lawsuit, and it was unclear if Duda was aware of it.

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