Polish-Jewish activist exonerated over pro-Israel demonstration

Marcy Oster

WARSAW, Poland (JTA) – A Polish-Jewish activist on trial on charges stemming from a pro-Israel demonstration he organized in Warsaw was found not guilty by a Polish court.

The verdict in the trial of Tadeusz Markiewicz was issued Thursday.

In July 2014, Markiewicz organized a rally in support of Israel. He had permission for the demonstration to run until 4 p.m., but it lasted longer, leading to the indictment and the trial. The rally, which attracted about 80 people, was held during Israel’s war last summer with Hamas in Gaza.

Markiewicz and his attorney had the support of the Jerusalem Institute of Justice.

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“We are happy for this verdict because the matter at stake was freedom of speech and assembly, which for some reason police tried to tamper with,” Markiewicz’s attorney, Monika Krawczyk, told JTA. “We are proud that a voice supporting Israel was heard on the streets of Warsaw.”

Markiewicz said after the verdict that it “is a triumph of civil society and the legal standards it wants to live according to.”

Piotr Kadlcik, a Polish-Jewish activist who was a witness at the trial, told JTA: “I am glad that justice prevailed. In our difficult times, when BDS and an anti-Israeli approach is so common throughout Europe, there is hope in Poland.”

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