Police in Warsaw, Poland arrested 48 people on Saturday who were protesting the arrest of a transgender activist. The activist, Malgorzata Szutowicz, better known as “Margot,” had been arrested for hanging rainbow flags on statues and damaging the van of an anti-abortion campaigner. Videos posted to social media showed police dragging and carrying activists through the streets.
Reuters reports: “The police started releasing detained protesters [later] on Saturday, but not Margot. She is a member of the activist group ‘Stop Bzdurom’. The group have said they hung flags on statues last week as part of a fight for LGBT rights, an issue thrust into the heart of public debate in Poland during last month’s presidential election. The commissioner for human rights at the Council of Europe, a rights watchdog, called for the immediate release of the activist.”
The AP reports: “The protests come amid an intensifying standoff in Poland between the LGBT rights movement and the conservative government, which has declared it an alien, dangerous ‘ideology.’ President Andrzej Duda, who was sworn in for a second term Thursday, won re-election on a strong anti-LGBT platform, and social tensions have been rising.”