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Whistleblower dismissed from work – HFHR issues amicus curiae brief

A Warsaw court hears the case of a female whistleblower who was laid off after she gave an interview about irregularities at the hospital where she worked. The HFHR has filed an amicus curiae brief in this case. 

“In our brief, we pointed to the fact that a whistleblower who reveals abuses in the functioning of a public institution is awarded protection under the European Convention on Human Rights”, says Adam Ploszka, a lawyer working with the HFHR.

According to the HFHR, the statement of the female whistleblower should be considered in the light of freedom of expression guarantees enshrined in Article 10 of the Convention. If the whistleblower was sentenced for her statements given in the interview, this would violate the freedom of speech principle that is guarantees in both the Constitution and international conventions.

The HFHR also noted in the amicus curiae brief that a resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe calls on the Member States to develop a system of protection for persons who report wrongdoings in good faith. However, Poland has not adopted any regulations that would lead to the performance of this obligation.

“Safeguards for whistleblowers expressed in the case law of the European Court of Human Rights are even more important since the Polish law provides no special protection for persons who disclose abuses acting in public interest”, Mr Ploszka adds.

The whistleblower’s case is pending before closed doors at the District Court for Warszawa-Mokotów. Another court date is set on 26 January 2015.

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