Presidential candidate detained by police during protest

A presidential candidate, Paweł Tanjno, who organised a protest against coronavirus-related business restrictions, has been detained by the police for assaulting a police officer.

Earlier today, a small group of people, under the leadership of Paweł Tanajno, who is in the running for President in the upcoming election, with less than one percent support in recent polls (as of 19 May 2020), gathered in the centre of Warsaw to protest against the business lockdown restrictions imposed by the government to prevent the spread of coronavirus infections.

The group was informed by the police that any public gatherings are prohibited during the pandemic and was asked to disband, however the requests were ignored by the protesters.

The police confirmed that no demonstrations had been registered with the city authorities for this Saturday and stressed that any public gatherings during the pandemic are illegal.

Despite the police warning, the protesters laid down a flower cross in front of the Palace of Culture and Science.

“This cross, which has been placed on businessmen's shoulders by politicians (...) is a symbol of their guilt,” said Mr. Tanajno.

Subsequently, the group began marching towards the Presidential Palace located on Krakowskie Przedmieście Street.

According to the police, further decisive action had to be taken to stop the illegal demonstration. The police tweeted:

“Attacks on police officers will not be tolerated. If anyone threatens a police officer, he or she leaves us no option, but to act decisively. We confirm that we have detained Paweł Tanajno for assaulting a police officer.”

Last week, dozens of business owners gathered in Warsaw’s Old Town to pressure the government into removing more coronavirus-related barriers imposed on small businesses. They intended to march towards the Presidential Palace but were stopped by the police, who cordoned off the demonstration and detained nearly 400 protesters, after they failed to follow appeals to disperse.

The Minister of the Interior and Administration, Mariusz Kamiński, said that the police had recently been under slanderous attacks. He has also written a letter addressing police officers, ensuring them that in his opinion the police actions undertaken during last week’s protests were justified and necessary.

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