UN Committee calls on Poland to delegalise radical right groups

The United Nations' Committee for combating racial discrimination wants Poland to delegalize radical right groupings such as the Radical National Front (ONR), Polish National Youth, Falanga, and Modern Pride.

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The UN committee responsible for combating racial discrimination has demanded Poland produce an additional report on its efforts to combat racism in Poland. Poland has assured the UN that it is committed to eliminating racial discrimination.

The UN committee is also calling on Poland to delegalize political movements that are guilty of racial and ethnic discrimination. That list includes the radical National Front (ONR), Polish National Youth, Falanga and Modern Pride. The last of these was delegalized by a Polish court a month ago.

Asked about the report the spokesman for the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) said that it was not the role of his or any other political party to decide which organizations may function legally in Poland.


The membership of UN committees making pronouncements on member states practices on matters relating to democracy and human rights is sometimes eye-brow raising. Being lectured by the likes of Cuba, Saudi Arabia or Zimbabwe on such topics is curious.

More to the point, the UN body in question seems to misunderstand the nature of law in European states on this issue. It is not governments or Parliaments who decide which organization is legal and which is not. It is a matter for the courts.

Poland has a legislative framework for making organizations propagating totalitarian ideologies illegal. That law has been used sparingly as the polish constitution also contains provisions protecting free speech. One hopes the UIN is not suggesting that the Polish government instructs the courts how they should act, especially as recently a UN body was expressing concern over Poland’s judicial reforms.

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