International News

LGBTQ+ activists found guilty over attack on anti-LGBTQ+ van in Poland

Graham Robson May 23, 2023

Three LGBTQ+ activists have been sentenced for their role in an attack on a van used by a conservative group, Fundacja Pro, which displayed images and slogans linking LGBTQ+ to paedophilia on the streets of Warsaw in June 2020.

The three suspects – known as Margot, Paweł Sz and Zuzanna M  – were indicted in 2021 for the crimes of hooliganism, assault and property damage. The pretrial detention of Margot prompted mass protests by supporters in 2020.

On Sunday, May 21, a district court in Warsaw found all three guilty and sentenced them to periods of community: one year for Margot, 11 months for Paweł Sz, and six months for Zuzanna M. Additionally, Margot and Paweł Sz were ordered to fix the damage they caused.

In issuing the sentence – which can still be appealed – judge Aleksandra Smyk noted that there was no doubt as to the identity of the perpetrators as the incident was caught on film. She added that, while people have the right to express their views, they must do so within the bounds of the law.

As the sentences were being issued, supporters of the activists verbally clashed outside the courthouse with Mariusz Dzierżawski, the head of Fundacja Pro, who had parked one of the anti-LGBTQ+ vans in the street.