Polish Writer Faces Three Years in Prison For Insulting President

Jakub Zulczyk, a popular polish writer and journalist, could face up to three years in prison for calling President Andrzej Duda a “moron” in a Facebook post written in November.

Zulczyk accused President Duda of failing to understand the U.S. electoral process when President Duda congratulated Joe Biden on his “successful presidential campaign” prior to the Electoral College confirming Biden’s victory. 

In Poland, it is a crime to insult state leaders and religion. 

Following U.S. media reports of a presidential victory for Biden on November 7, President Duda tweeted, “Congratulations to Joe Biden for a successful presidential campaign. As we await the nomination by the Electoral College, Poland is determined to upkeep high-level and high-quality PL-US strategic partnership for an even stronger alliance.” 

In reference to the tweet, Zulczyk wrote that he studied U.S. politics and he had “never heard of such a thing as Electoral College nomination.” 

He continued, adding, “Joe Biden is the 46th president of the USA, Andrzej Duda is a moron.” 

Prosecutors are calling the post “offensive” and “unacceptable.” 

Zulczyk said he had only heard of the charges being brought against him through the media. 

Poland has nine different insult laws, including one that protects state symbols, and they all come with possible prison terms. 

In a 2017 report by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) looking at insult and defamation laws among 57 countries, Poland had the highest number. 

In Poland, it is possible to be imprisoned for not only insulting the Polish flag, but the flags of foreign countries as well. 

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