15:15 GMT20 April 2021
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    Freedom of speech supports the freedom of individuals to articulate their opinions and ideas without fear of censorship or retaliation by the government. In January, the Polish government announced it was introducing legislation to prevent social networks from deleting content or canceling accounts.

    Jakub Zulczyk, a popular Polish writer, could face a potential sentence of up to three years in prison for calling Polish President Andrzej Duda a “moron” on social media. Zulczyk is accused of insulting the Polish president after Duda, an ally of former US president Donald Trump, did not explicitly recognize Biden as the election winner in a tweet following the elections. 

    “As we await the nomination by the Electoral College, Poland is determined to upkeep high-level and high-quality PL-US strategic partnership for an even stronger alliance,” Duda wrote in his November 7, 2020 tweet.

    ​According to Polish press, following Duda’s remarks on the US presidential election, Zulczyk wrote on social media that Duda’s comments were incorrect and “everything that takes place from today — adding the rest of the votes, electoral votes — is pure formality.”

    “Joe Biden is the 46th president of the United States. Andrzej Duda is a moron,” Zulczyk added in his online remarks. 

    Zulczyk is being indicted on a charge under Article 135 of Poland’s penal code, which bans insults directed toward the president and dictates punishable by up to three years in prison, The Washington Post reported.

    International rights groups have criticized Duda’s ruling Law and Justice party for suppressing freedom of speech, with Freedom House, a nonprofit organization that conducts research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom and human rights, stating that Poland has a “suite of harsh insult laws, including against blasphemy (punishable by up to two years in prison) and insulting the president (up to three years).”


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