A 15-year-old boy committed suicide after it was reported in the media that he had been the victim of pedophilia. Mikolaj Filiks was the son of Magdalena Filiks, an MP for Poland’s main opposition party, Civic Platform.
This issue was at the center of the parliamentary agenda (there was a minute of silence), with the governing party, Lei e Justiça, being the target of various criticisms.
At stake is a work by public radio station Radio Szczecin, which reported on a pedophile investigation that revealed several details about the victims, and it was easily identifiable that Mikolaj Filiks was one of them.
It is now known that the young man died last week, shortly after the broadcast of the report, which disclosed the ages of the victims and mentioned that one of them was the son of a deputy. In the same work it was mentioned that the man, whose trial in which he ended up being convicted took place in secret to protect the victims, was a member of the Civic Platform, as well as a well-known LGBT activist.
The news of the death was given by Magdalena Filiks through Twitter.
— Magdalena Filiks 🇵🇱🇪🇺 (@FiliksMagdalena)
March 3, 2023
The story ended up being shared by other state media, which motivated the opposition to accuse Lei e Justiça of orchestrating the case for political gain, since the investigation was aimed at a member of the Civic Platform, with some even accusing the government party to bear responsibility for Mikolaj’s death.
The current leader of Civic Platform, former Prime Minister and President of the European Council Donald Tusk, has vowed to “hold Law and Justice accountable for all the villainy, evil and tragedies it has caused while in power”. “Mikolaj was persecuted by the lack of discretion, lack of care, the bad intentions of the authorities and the public media,” he said.
💬 @donaldtusk: Mikołaj został zaszczuty przez brak dyskrecji, brak delikatności, przez złą intencję funkcjonariuszy władzy i tak zwanych mediów publicznych. pic.twitter.com/pLYXLOXFz3
— PlatformaObywatelska (@Platforma_org)
March 7, 2023
The former Foreign Minister of Donald Tusk’s government went further, even suggesting a “planned” operation by Law and Justice, accusing state-owned prosecutors and media of cooperating to “destroy political opponents” of the party that is in power.
The journalist responsible for the investigation, Tomasz Duklanowski, said he decided to go forward with the story to show that “it’s not just the Catholic Church” that covers up cases of sexual abuse of minors. Since Law and Justice came to power in 2015, several international organizations have drawn attention to controlling the media. in your last reportReporters Without Borders claim that public media are used as “propaganda tools”, adding that there have been attempts to “change the editorial line of private media and control information on sensitive issues”.
The case of Mikolaj’s death is already being investigated by the Polish justice system, and the National Transmission Council has launched an inquiry to try to clarify the contours of the report, namely if the safety of the victims was called into question.
Poland is going to elections at the end of the year, with a tight vote between the two main parties expected. Currently in power, Law and Justice is known for its conservative agenda, acting with a firm hand in controlling the media and constantly campaigning against LGBT rights.