"By dismissing Hanna Machińska, a true guardian of human rights, Ombudsman Marcin Wiącek ceased to represent the interests of Polish citizens" - writes Jarosław Kurski, first deputy editor-in-chief of Gazeta Wyborcza.
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Dear Mr. Ombudsman,  

the matter of concern is public, so the letter is public as well. I held off from writing to you as long as I could, deluding myself that you might come to your senses. Now I see I’ve waited in vain.   

You dismissed your deputy Hanna Machińska.

You summoned her suddenly into your office, deceitfully praised her achievements, and then sacked her. Earlier, little by little, you took away her competencies, such as those concerning international cooperation, and made her contacts with the media conditional on your approval. And now, you did not even care to explain your motives to all the Polish citizens who pay your salary. I suppose there’s nothing left for us but to guess them.

Reason one. As we all know, the quality of one’s performance is best measured against someone else’s. Compared to Hanna Machińska, you did very poorly. Your presence could hardly be noticed. Moreover – with her courage, activity, and uncompromising character, Ms. Machińska exposed your lack of courage, inaction, and conformity. Ms. Machińska was thus your complete opposite. I agree that this is an intolerable situation. Unable to match her, you decided to throw her out, taking advantage of your position.  

Reason two. Hanna Machińska stood in the way of your deals with the politicians in power. From the point of view of an opportunist, which you undoubtedly are, removing Machińska was a rational, albeit short-sighted, decision. After all, what will you do when the democratic camp comes into power next year? Will you call your former deputy and try to convince her to come back?

Reason three. Ms. Machińska’s dismissal concludes the work of subduing the office of the Ombudsman, which you have been carrying out consistently.

As you know, because of a political deadlock, neither Adam Bodnar nor Zuzanna Rudzińska-Bluszcz could have been appointed Ombudsman. Only a person tolerated by the ruling camp and promising to be quite soft and agreeable could take the office. And then you came along, having the support of the Polish People’s Party. You are proof of the disastrous consequences of subjecting principles to negotiation and compromise.   

You started with omissions. You are good with them.

*You failed to file an appeal in the case of Orlen's takeover of the Polska Press media house, which, in practice, means the subordination of independent local press to political power.  

*You’ve dropped cases concerning Poland’s rule of law before the Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights.  

*No wonder you were relieved to part ways with your other deputy, Prof. Dr. Maciej Taborowski, who handled all these cases.  

*You did not file any requests to exclude the stand-in judges or neo-judges from adjudicating.

*You also never requested to exclude Judge Julia Przyłębska from adjudicating. This means you see her Court to be a legitimate institution. 

* You refused to comment on the fast-approaching end of her term (December 20) because "it is not a matter of concern for the citizens".  

*You reportedly wanted to turn the Ombudsman’s office into a research institute. Now you are denying it. I don't know what is the truth here. So, are you saying that instead of defending human rights, you would rather research them? One only has to look into the Act on the Ombudsman to understand that this is pure nonsense. 

*And the crowning touch: you have sacked a true defender of human rights, the conscience of the Ombudsman’s office, the guardian of the rights of the weak and defenseless, a wise, good, and noble person - Dr. Hanna Machińska.

Immediately after you took the oath of office and swore to be a formally independent Ombudsman, you held a long meeting with Chairman Kaczyński and Prime Minister Morawiecki in the Parliament. Do you think that there is even one person naïve enough to believe that this conversation was purely courteous?   

That's how Marcin Wiącek - a Polish lawyer and academic, doctor of jurisprudence, professor at the University of Warsaw - ceased to represent the rights of Polish citizens. 

Spotkanie sędziów z podziękowaniem dla odwołanej ze stanowiska zastępczyni rzecznika praw obywatelskich Hanny Machińskiej, Kraków 8.12.2022
Spotkanie sędziów z podziękowaniem dla odwołanej ze stanowiska zastępczyni rzecznika praw obywatelskich Hanny Machińskiej, Kraków 8.12.2022  Fot. Sylwia Penc / Agencja Wyborcza.pl

Mr. Ombudsman,   

the history of your office has so far been written by exceptional people, each of whom has left a mark of their outstanding individuality - from Prof. Ewa Łętowska to Prof. Adam Bodnar. Until recently, your office was the last remaining institution of the Polish state still left uncompromised by political influence. Because of you, that is no longer true.

We live in difficult and turbulent times, which every now and then provide us with surprising examples of high moral standards. It turns out that in a moment of trial it is possible for a comedy actor to rise to the occasion and be a statesman and a national hero. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy showed us that this is possible.

But one can also be a professor, a human rights expert, hold an independent office of public trust, be the hope of free citizens, but in the hour of trial show a complete lack of character and become a comedian in the unfunny series "The Office on the Edge". This is what happened to you.    

You have failed us, Professor. You have failed us many times over.    

Respectfully.

***

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    I would not be so sure as is the esteemed first deputy editor-in-chief that the Opposition will win the general election in 2023. Firstly, the war will become much more intense, with a Russian winter offensive looming, and it will have serious repercussions in Poland. Historically, voters in most countries turn to the party in power when their security is threatened. Secondly, the West, especially the Anglosphere, is undergoing a kind of collective madness regarding gender, race and culture, a phenomenon actively being exploited by the likes of Putin, Orban and Kaczyński, since the majority of people in Central and Eastern Europe find Wokism deeply offensive and ugly. Thirdly, the propaganda of the PiS commission into Russian influence may deeply compromise Donald Tusk and other members of the former PO-PSL government of 2007-2015.

    I would also suggest that judging by people's casual comments in marketplaces, taxis etc., the Opposition does not have a clear alternative plan to do things differently and better than PiS. This may be the biggest weakness of the Opposition, which shows few signs of truly uniting.
    już oceniałe(a)ś
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    "Chairman Kaczyński", not "President Kaczyński, especially in this context. Get someone to read these English texts before you publish them. They are decently translated but all too often terminological inaccuracies slip into them. You need a copy editor.
    @cachecreek
    It's too easy to use Google Translate to do most of the work... and a non-native-speaker can easily miss such minor nuances as the differences between "Chairman" and "President", especially since in Polish "Prezes" and "President" are so similar.
    już oceniałe(a)ś
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    @cachecreek
    Like Chairman Mao.
    już oceniałe(a)ś
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    Mr Wiacek is not interested in defending human rights, that is why is turning into the research. So nobody can tell him he was not working.
    już oceniałe(a)ś
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