Avalanche of criticism of the Polish government after the suicide of the youngest son of a deputy

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The suicide in Poland of the son of a 15-year-old opposition lawmaker after the media released data that allowed him to be identified as a victim of sexual abuse has sparked a barrage of criticism of the ruling Law and Justice party. The Polish Parliament held a minute of silence for the memory of the minor.

The Association of Polish Radio Journalists today accused the head of a state station of "violating the elementary principles of ethics" by disseminating personal information about the case of teenager Mikolaj Filiks, son of parliamentarian Magdalena Filiks, from the Civic Platform opposition party (PO).

various media outlets released numerous details about the tragedy experienced by the 15-year-old

In the statement, published this Tuesday, it is said that "there is no place in the media" for those who do not observe "the fundamental principle that the limits to freedom of expression are set by the good of the aggrieved person", when it comes to a minor victim of sexual abuse.

The accusation is directed against the chief editor of the state radio station Radio Szczecin, Tomasz Duklanowski, who on December 29, 2022 published a text about a case of pedophilia.

The information that made it possible to identify the son of Magdalena Filiks as the victim, as well as to know that the culprit was an employee of the regional government, a member of the same opposition party.

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For this reason, a series of speculations, rumors and increasingly explicit attacks against the deputy were unleashed and the case achieved great public notoriety.

In addition, various media outlets, including state media, disclosed numerous details about the tragedy experienced by the 15-year-old, which could have led him to the emotional situation that led him to commit suicide last Friday.

On Twitter, opposition politicians expressed their grief, horror and outrage at the news of his death, which comes amid a surge in suicides among young people. Some accused the state media, controlled by the ruling party, of creating the circumstances that led to his suicide.

Donald Tusk, leader of the party where the victim's mother is a member, wrote two days ago on his social networks that he will make the government party pay "for each wrongdoing, for all the human damage and all the tragedies that they have caused while they are in power . It is a promise".

Since news of the death broke, social media in Poland has been awash with condemnations of Radio Szczecin, a state-owned radio outlet, as well as other state-run outlets that reported the story. Law and Justice has also been criticized for the way it has used state media as a tool to cling to power. Radio Szczecin has not reported on the suicide.

Some representatives of the government party, such as the education minister, Przemyslaw Czarnek, pointed out that Tusk's party tried to hide the facts for fear of the political consequences they might have.

The young man's burial took place on Tuesday and the mother expressly requested that no member of the media be present at the ceremony.

This tragedy occurs in a country bitterly divided and facing elections this fall that will determine whether Law and Justice, a conservative and nationalist party, can hold out for a third term.

In recent years, news about the abuse of minors by members of the clergy and its concealment by the Catholic Church has divided society. The ruling party is strongly aligned with the church and has often argued that sexual crimes are not confined to the church alone, but occur in other arenas as well.

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