EFJ blasts Polish paper for sacking journalists over crash report

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today criticised the

decision to sack the editor-in chief of the Polish daily Rzeczpospolita along with three journalists over a report on the plane

crash which killed former President Lech Kaczynski in April 2010.


Tomasz Wróblewski, the paper’s editor-in-chief, his deputy Bartosz

Marczuk, journalist Cezary Gmyz who wrote the article and internal affairs

editor Mariusz Staniszewski lost their jobs on Tuesday, 6 November, on the

decision by the supervisory board and the publisher of Rzeczpospolita, Presspublica belonging to Mr. Grzegorz Hajdarowicz.


The article entitled "Trotyl in the wreckage of the

Tupolev" triggered a political row when it said they had found traces of

TNT and nitro-glycerin on the wings and in the cabin of the jet of former

Polish President Lech Kaczynski which crashed in Smole?sk, Russia, two years

ago, killing the President and 95 members of his delegation.


“Dismissing some of the most senior and experienced journalists of a

respected daily newspaper in Poland due to their investigative journalism is a

scandal,” said EFJ President Arne König. “ We support our

affiliate, the Polish Journalists Association (SDP) in its protests against

these politically driven dismissals.”


In a statement, the SDP also condemned the decision, saying that “We

consider the action taken by the Supervisory Board of the owner of

“Presspublica” Publishing House against Mr. Cezary Gmyz as a violation of the

principles which regulate relations with investigative journalists in free and independent

media. We find the attempts to make the author disclose his sources and details

of investigation unacceptable.”

For more information contact the EFJ at 32 2 235 2200.


The EFJ represents about 300,000 journalists

in over than 30 countries worldwide.