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U.S. Statement at the Universal Periodic Review of Poland
May 9, 2017

As delivered by Sheila Leonard

Universal Periodic Review 27th Session
May 9, 2017

Thank you Mr. President.

The United States welcomes the Polish delegation to the UPR Working Group.

We commend the progress made by Poland in addressing our 2012 UPR recommendation to institute law enforcement outreach to LGBTI communities and to increase hate crimes reporting.  We also commend senior government officials for recent statements condemning anti-Semitism.

We remain deeply concerned about judicial independence, especially regarding Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal.  We urge the government to fully respect principles of judicial independence, checks and balances, and the separation of powers between branches of government.  The Polish government should publish and implement Tribunal decisions.

We are also concerned about continued discrimination and incidents targeting minorities in Poland, including homophobic, xenophobic, and anti-Semitic speech and acts.  We are concerned by the potential impact on freedom of expression of multiple dismissals of journalists in public media. We are also concerned government officials do not publicly and regularly condemn serious and specific incidents of hate speech and hostile acts against minorities when they occur.

Bearing in mind these concerns, we recommend that Poland:

  1. Ensure reform efforts respect and strengthen judicial independence and improve delivery of justice.
  1. Publicly denounce anti-Semitic and other hate speech and acts at the highest levels of government, as well as support tolerance awareness-raising and training efforts.
  1. Combat violence and discrimination against LGBTI persons.

Thank you Mr. President.