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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Polish health minister declares war on anti-vaxxers

02.08.2021 20:45
Poland's Health Minister Adam Niedzielski on Monday said he would urge strong government action against anti-vaxxer groups, after a vaccination site in the southeast of the country was set ablaze the previous night.
Audio
  • Polish health minister declares war on anti-vaxxers
Polish Health Minister Adam Niedzielski.
Polish Health Minister Adam Niedzielski.Photo: PAP/Wojtek Jargiło

Niedzielski spoke to reporters in front of the burned-down facility in the southeastern city of Zamość and offered a reward of PLN 10,000 (EUR 2,200, USD 2,600) to anyone helping capture the arsonist.

‘Act of terror’

"What we are dealing with today is hard to describe other than as an act of terror," Niedzielski said.

"This act of terror was directed not only against medical staff and those who wish to be vaccinated, but against the Polish state," he added.

Niedzielski told reporters that "a line has been crossed, prompting the state to take highly strict and firm steps."

Niedzielski also said that he “won’t allow any threats or hate against people involved in the vaccination programme to go unpunished."

He vowed to "raise the subject of fighting anti-vax groups" at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

He also said he would seek public officer status for vaccination staff "in the sense that they enjoy special legal protection and every threat, every act of aggression against these workers, will be punished with special severity."

After offering the PLN 10,000 reward, Niedzielski encouraged "everyone who has any information about today's incidents" to contact police.

He voiced hope that the culprit would be caught soon as “the area is full of CCTV.”

'Zero tolerance for such behaviours'

Niedzielski also declared “zero tolerance for such behaviours” and said that law enforcers would "pursue these bandits with all the stringency and firmness of purpose."

Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said earlier in the day that his government would take strict measures against groups staging attacks on COVID-19 vaccination centres in various locations around the country.

Meanwhile, national police chief Jarosław Szymczyk announced that a special task force had been set up and was already hard at work to "identify and arrest the perpetrator of this extraordinarily outrageous, thuggish attack" in Zamość.

(pm/gs)

Source: PAP, niezalezna.pl