The regional prosecutor in Jarosław, south-eastern Poland, is investigating whether the beating and burning of an effigy of Judas that took place last Friday could be considered an incitement to violence. The effigy in question was made to resemble a caricature of an Orthodox Jew.
“The investigation has been launched due to a potential violation of article 256 of the Penal Code about inciting racial, national, ethnic, or religious violence,” Agnieszka Kaczorowska, the regional prosecutor from Jarosław told news portal Onet.pl. “After watching the incident online, I have come to the conclusion that it could be regarded as hate speech.”
Earlier this week, Church officials expressed their disapproval of the incident.
“In the context of the events that took place in Pruchnik on April 19, the Church expresses her disapproval of practices that violates human dignity,” wrote Bishop Rafał Markowski from the Polish Episcopal Conference, the Chairman of the Council for Religious Dialogue and of the Committee for Dialogue with Judaism.
On Friday morning, Pruchnik residents took part in a traditional ritual of symbolically sentencing Judas to death in an event called the “Judgement of Judas”. At this year’s event the effigy had a big red nose, black hat and Jewish Orthodox-style ringlets.
In the context of the events that took place in Pruchnik on April 19, the Church expresses her disapproval of practices that violates human dignity – writes Bishop Rafał Markowski, Chairman of the Council for Religious Dialogue and of the Committee for Dialogue with Judaism. pic.twitter.com/0J8K5m81lr— EpiskopatNews (@EpiskopatNews) April 22, 2019