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Parliamentary administration responds to HFHR’s intervention statement on media access rules

“The Chancellery of the Sejm does not intend to make any changes to the rules governing media professionals’ work at the Sejm that would contravene universally applicable laws or the standards of a democratic state ruled by law or be a sign of impeding or quelling media criticism”, reads the response of the Head of the Sejm’s Chancellery to the HFHR’s letter addressed to the Speaker of the Sejm.

The Foundation’s statement was sent in connection with a prohibition to access the Sejm building for Paweł Dąbrowski, a photo reporter of the Super Express daily newspaper, and the planned introduction of restrictions concerning Sejm areas accessible to the members of the media with a permanent media accreditation. According to the HFHR, this threatens “the freedom of the media coverage of matters related to parliamentary works”.

The temporary revocation of Mr Dąbrowski’s access privileges resulted from a violation of “the authority of the Sejm and good manners”, which was allegedly committed through, as the Commander of the Speaker’s Guard put it, “an ironic meaning” of an article featuring the reporter’s photograph.

However, the Head of the Chancellery noted that with the several hundreds of permanent and temporary press cards issued over the last few years, only a handful press card applications were denied and access privileges were revoked on a small number of occasions.

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