Friday March 5, 2010

Complete Statement by Gosc Niedzielny

We consider this ruling unjust and limiting freedom of speech. Once again “Gosc Niedzielny” is expected to apologize for words, which we never wrote.

In this context we would like to emphasize the following:

1. The facts of the case are obvious and court verdicts cannot change them. Ms. Alicja Tysiac has not been compared to “Nazi criminals” in any of our publications. Also, there is no doubt, that she had demanded damages in connection with the refusal to terminate her pregnancy and this is what she considered the essence of her conflict with the Polish state. The views we expressed consistently, calling abortion the killing of human life, have been stigmatized by the court as “hate speech”.

2. With this ruling, the appeal court in Katowice approved an unacceptable method, employed by the District Court, of arbitrary and selective juxtaposition of article pieces taken out of context, for the purpose of constructing a non-existent media entity, called “hate speech”, for which we are now to apologize.

The Appeal Court ruling confirms a dangerous precedent, where it is the courts who freely interpret the “context” and “general impression” of articles and thus decide on the shape of opinion journalism in the delicate area of ethical and moral judgments. This constitutes a serious restriction not only of the freedom of speech, but also of the right of Catholics to participate in the public debate.

3. We would like to remind, that in the course of the trial, Gosc Niedzielny issued a statement expressing pity over the subjective negative reception of our articles by Ms. Alicja Tysiac. We would like to stress that our criticism never pertained to a person, but to rules. This has not been accepted, because – as we feel – Ms. Tysiac’s goal is not so much the protection of her personal interests, but an ideological confrontation. With this ruling, the Appeal Court took the side of pro-abortion circles. We do not agree with the verdict, and that’s why we are considering the option of appealing for cassation at the Supreme Court.

4. On this occasion, we would like to once again thank all the people and institutions who supported “Gosc Niedzielny” during the trial.