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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Polish MPs endorse harsher penalties for anti-vax violence

12.08.2021 12:00
Polish lawmakers have backed plans to introduce harsher punishments for those who assault or threaten vaccination site personnel.
Audio
  • Audio report: Polish MPs endorse harsher penalties for anti-vax violence
A burned-down vaccination site in the southeastern Polish city of Zamość earlier this month.
A burned-down vaccination site in the southeastern Polish city of Zamość earlier this month.Photo: PAP/Wojtek Jargiło

Under the new rules, which the lower house of Poland's parliament approved on Wednesday, inoculation centre staff would be granted public officer status to better protect them after a series of recent attacks by anti-vaxxers.

Anyone assaulting a public officer in Poland faces up to three years in prison.

Earlier this month, Poland's Health Minister Adam Niedzielski said he would urge strong government action against anti-vaxxer groups, after a vaccination site in the southeast of the country was set ablaze.

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

He added that public officer status for vaccination staff ensures “special legal protection and every threat, every act of aggression against these workers, will be punished with special severity."

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

(tf/gs)

Source: PAP

Click on the "Play" button above for an audio report by Radio Poland’s Michał Owczarek.