English Section

Polish PM urges tougher penalties for child abusers

11.05.2023 07:00
The Polish prime minister has said the country must introduce “much tougher” penalties for child abuse, and called for capital punishment “for the most brutal criminals,” after an 8-year-old child was killed by his stepfather in southern Poland.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.Photo: PAP/Bartosz Jankowski

Mateusz Morawiecki told a news conference in Warsaw on Wednesday: “We should firmly strengthen penalties for abuse. I instructed the justice minister to take up the matter urgently.”

The prime minister said that penalties “for criminals, for degenerates, are now much too low,” public broadcaster Polish Radio’s polskieradio24.pl website reported.

He added that “people and institutions failed" to protect an 8-year-old boy from the southern city of Częstochowa who died from injuries inflicted by his stepfather on Monday. 

Morawiecki told reporters: “What happened to Kamil is deeply shocking and is a great plea to all of us, to all Polish people, to be vigilant and, if somebody in our environment is being harmed, to alert the relevant authorities to prevent the worst.”

Meanwhile, Family and Social Policy Minister Marlena Maląg said Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro would be instructed by the prime minister to toughen penalties for child abuse. 

Maląg added: “We will not allow children or anybody to be treated in this way.”

She told reporters that "sentences for abusers are currently very low.” 

Later in the day, Morawiecki said in a tweet: “The penalties for the worst degenerates are much too low. What kind of world is this where prison sentences for torturing children are lower than for fraud?”

He added: “That’s why personally I would like to see the restoration of the death penalty for the most brutal criminals.”

The prime minister stated: “Children must be protected from monsters. Such torturers not only belong in prison, but I’m personally in favour of the ultimate penalty, the death penalty, for crimes committed with such cruelty, with such premeditation.”

Tragedy in Częstochowa

The 8-year-old Kamil died on Monday. He had been hospitalised since April 3 after being battered by his stepfather, polskieradio24.pl reported.

The man had been reportedly abusing Kamil “for a long time,” beating and kicking the child, tossing him onto the floor and burning him with cigarettes, according to investigators. 

The violence culminated on March 29, when the stepfather threw hot water on Kamil and threw him onto a hot coal furnace, officials said. 

The child’s injuries covered 25 percent of his body, including the entire face, trunk, hands and legs, polskieradio24.pl reported.

Stepfather to be charged with ‘murder with special cruelty’

On Wednesday, forensic experts carried out an autopsy on Kamil’s body, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

Deputy Prosecutor-General Krzysztof Sierak said the results “provide sufficient evidence to charge the child’s stepfather with ‘murder with special cruelty,’ while prosecutors are also considering charging the mother with ‘aiding murder,’” according to the PAP news agency. 


Source: PAP, polskieradio24.plrp.pl