Region: Europe

Number of Trials: 2

Rainbow Mary Case

Bart Staszewski

In Poland, TrialWatch is monitoring increasing discrimination against members of minority groups, including the LGBTQ+ community, and use of SLAPP suits to deter speech.

Rainbow Mary Case

The three activists were arrested for "offending religious feelings" after putting up the Rainbow Mary posters © Przemyslaw Stefanian

Three activists, Elżbieta Podlesna, Anna Prus, and Joanna Gzyra-Iskandar, were charged with “offending religious feelings” for putting up posters showing the Virgin Mary with a rainbow halo. While they were acquitted at trial, which was monitored by CFJ’s partner the ABA Center for Human Rights as part of TrialWatch, the proceedings made clear the prosecution’s discriminatory impetus, with references to a “homolobby” and prosecution witnesses comparing the rainbow flag to a swastika. The Fairness Report on the case gave the trial a grade of ‘D,’ concluding that “[t]he charges were wholly brought based on improper motives.”

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Bart Staszewski

TrialWatch is monitoring proceedings against activist and filmmaker Bart Staszewski, who led the first “Equality March” and created a project to advocate against “LGBT-Free Zones” and who now faces a range of charges of ‘infringement of personality rights’ for his work.

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From January to March 2021, the American Bar Association (ABA) Center for Human Rights monitored the trial of human rights defenders Elzbieta Podlesna, Anna Prus, and Joanna Gzyra-Iskandar as part of the Clooney Foundation for Justice’s Trial Watch initiative.

See the Fairness Report