Andrzej Dolecki, leader of the Free Hemp Movement (Wolne Konopie), arrested for political reasons.
One of the most prominent pro-legalization activists has been taken out of his bed at dawn on the 1st of May (Labour Day, official holiday in Poland). He was charged with the intention to sell significant quantities of marijuana, and arrested for 3 months, to await trial in jail.
The charge is based solely on two testimonies of other inmates. No marijuana was found – actually the small amounts that Dolecki possessed in his apartment, were not taken by the police.
After more than a decade of activity, Wolne Konopie gained extensive popularity after it allied in 2010 with Poland’s third largest party (Ruch Palikota). In Warsaw, its demonstrations have gathered over 10 000 participators during past years. After the Free Hemp Movement has gained political influence and media visibility Polish police has started systematically harassing activists of the said movement. Tracking, eavesdropping and arresting activists on grounds of phony evidence, especially before important political events, are unfortunately mundane in this member state of European Union.
On the day of his arrest, Dolecki was supposed to take part in the Ruch Palikota congress, after which further cooperation between the two organisation were supposed to take place. Despite the lack of hard evidence, Dolecki faces up to 12 years in prison, which would eliminate him for good from the public life – apparently the main aim of the overreaching government and special forces.
Thousands of people express their anger over the case, ranging from high-ranking politicians, to scores of Facebook supporters.
EU officials and some European heads of state call for the boycott of the Ukrainian part of the Euro2012 tournament, claiming that they will not tolerate political prisoners (meaning Julia Tymoshenko). If they look closer at the situation in Poland, maybe they should consider boycotting the whole thing…?