D3.1 Country Report | April 2021
Author: Maria Moulin-Stożek, Jan Długosz University in Częstochowa
Poland continues to be a country with a low level of terrorist threat. However, because of its geographical location, strategic relationships with other countries and international organisations, as well as internal matters, terrorist attacks cannot be ruled out.
Political violence in Poland is outlined using data provided by the Internal Security Agency and the police, as well as hate crime statistics from the Ministry of Justice and the National Prosecutorial Office. Bias motivation is gathered in an electronic database during collecting data on the circumstances of the crime and motivation of the perpetrator. The Internal Security Agency report showed that between 2015-2019 there were investigations into right-wing, left-wing and jihadist terrorism. Ethnonationalist/separatist political violence is not an issue in Poland. Last mention of separatist potential threat was in 2000 report and it was related to the region of Silesia. There is also evidence of strong but decreasing political polarisation on violent threat and law on counterterrorism.
One Polish NGO works exclusively on de-radicalisation, while other projects tend to teach about multiculturalism, tolerance, interfaith dialogue, mastering emotions, controlling aggression and ‘positive patriotism’. They are carried out by the government on national level and locally, or by different associations, foundations and religious organisations. Some programmes are directed specifically towards football fans, who are particularly prone to right-wing radicalisation.
Among the most important challenges this report identified lack of independent criminological research into the number of (unreported) hate-motivated crimes against minorities, problems related to transparency and independent supervision of the Internal Security Agency, and legal evaluation of the relationship between hate speech and freedom of speech in the Polish context to properly challenge xenophobic and racist narratives.