State commission to investigate paedophilia issue: PM

Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish Prime Minister announced the government’s decision to create a commission to investigate paedophilia in all areas that have an increased risk of its occurrence.

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The commission will investigate child molestation cases not only among clergy, but also among sports instructors, teachers and in artistic circles.

“This problem [...] sadly, exists statistically in many different circles, [...] there can’t be any special treatment for anyone” Morawiecki said. He also added that the aim of the commission isn’t to stigmatise particular group of people but to expose any cover up actions if these took place. “There are no people who can dodge responsibility for paedophilia - this is fundamentally important”.

The Opposition is to be invited to join the commission, details of which are to be revealed soon. Morawiecki assured that “the commission will be organised in a way that will make it as believable as possible”.

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He also criticized the opposition for their lack of support for the penal code changes regarding child sexual abuse which increase the maximum punishment for paedophilia from 15 to 30 years. “Why did the opposition abstain from voting and the majority of them not vote for the paedophile registry? These are actions and by actions you can tell the true intentions.”

After the voting, Barbara Dolniak, Deputy Speaker of the Sejm, from the opposition Modern party, argued that the new legislation will increase the power of the prosecutor over the power of the court. “Only the prosecutor was given the power to file a motion for extraordinary penalty reduction, so if the prosecutor does not file this motion, then the court [...] will not be able to apply this measure on it’s own” she said.

The penal code changes and the announcement regarding the establishment of the commission follow the release of a documentary film on paedophilia in the Catholic Church in Poland, called “Tell no one” by Tomasz Sekielski. The film went viral, with nearly 21 million views in just 10 days, making child sexual abuse a topic of national debate.

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