Agata Grzybowska was let go yesterday shortly after 7 pm, around three and a half hours after she was forcibly pulled out of the crowd by the police, escorted to the police van and taken to an undisclosed precinct. Activists and Agata’s lawyer managed to locate her at the police station on Wilcza street, in midtown Warsaw. After an intervention by Michał Szczerba, an MP from the Civic Platform, Agata was allowed to leave the station pending charges.
Below, we are publishing her statement, issued yesterday evening on Agata’s facebook page.
I'm already at home. But today, another line has been crossed.
While I was doing my job, photographing a protest in front of the Ministry of Education, I was attacked by a police officer (only because when I was taking the photo, I flashed the lamp in his face), and then, despite showing my press ID, I was brutally thrown into a police van, where they were trying to tell me that I was the aggressor.
I was then taken to the police station at Wilcza, where I was accused of assaulting a policeman. They tried to dupe me into pleading guilty.
I absolutely reject the charges brought against me.
I want to thank @Strajk Kobiet (Women’s Strike) and everyone who gathered in front of the police station at Wilcza Street in the act of solidarity with me and other detainees. The truth is, not only I as a photoreporter (I know I am the privileged one), but no one who has been protesting peacefully should have been and should ever be detained. Violence commonly used by the police over the recent weeks is unacceptable. We will not accept being threatened!
I wholeheartedly support @Strajk Kobiet and every single person who has been taking to the streets over the last few weeks protesting against the limiting the access to abortion for women* and non-binary people. 27 years is definitely 27 years too long! Girls*, together we are stronger! We won’t give up! Guys*, thank you for your support!
I want to thank the RATS Agency team and all the other photojournalists and reporters, Beata Łyżwa Sokół - head of the photo department at Gazeta Wyborcza, and Vanessa Gera from the Associated Press.
I would also like to thank Members of Parliament - Barbara Nowacka, Małgorzata Kidawa-Błonśka, Anna-Maria Żukowska, Michał Szczerba and Cezary Tomczyk for contacting my partner Aleksandra Szymczyk and for their support and willingness to help. I would also like to thank Izabela Świerczyńska - a lawyer representing me. I am also grateful to all my friends and colleagues. You are great!
I would like to thank all of you that today I didn’t have to walk alone.
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