The bias motivated crime (hate crime) is a category of crimes directed against persons or their property. They are attacked due to their actual or alleged affiliation to groups with distinctive characteristic features, such as: color, language, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or a lack thereof, political opinions, gender or sexual identity and the like. Such attacks (physical or verbal) result from xenophobic standpoints and are prohibited by the Polish law.
The Criminal Code prohibits:
– The use of violence or unlawful threat against persons belonging to a particular national, ethnic, racial, political, religious group, or a group with a specific worldview (Art. 119);
– The public insult, assault and battery due to someone’s national, ethnic, racial or religious affiliation, or due to a lack of religious beliefs (Art. 257);
– The restriction of rights due to a religious affiliation or a lack thereof (Art. 195);
– The incitement to hatred induced by someone’s different nationality, ethnicity, race, religion or due to a lack of religious beliefs (Art. 256);
– The public promotion of fascism or other totalitarian regime (Art. 256).
Hate crimes are prosecuted ex officio – the law enforcement authorities are obliged to start proceedings at the time of a disclosure. The incident can be reported (written or oral), both by a person who experienced a hate crime or by a witness to the attack. You have the right to not to expose your contact details. Moreover, you can ask for a support a person who is of your trust – this person may accompany you in the course of completing procedures at the police station.
You will also find information about your rights on our leaflet: