Children of Two Polish Journalists Threatened with Death
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) on Monday urged Polish authorities to “swiftly and thoroughly” investigate death threats received by children of two journalists, and ensure that they and their families are safe.
On January 20, Mateusz Czuchnowski, the son of Gazeta Wyborcza reporter Wojciech Czuchnowski, received several calls from different police stations saying that they had received bomb threats that came from his phone number.
On the same day Mateusz, who works as a cinematographer, received also a voice message that said he will be killed for “betraying the motherland.”
Journalist Wojciech Czuchnowski, who has recently covered the alleged use of Pegasus surveillance spyware against opposition politicians in Poland, tolds CPJ that his son’s phone has been spoofed.
Then on January 31, the daughter of Tomasz Lis, editor-in-chief of the Newsweek Polska weekly, Pola Lis, received similar death threats for “betraying the motherland.” Lis’ daughter is a columnist who covers sports, and Lis himself frequently comments on news, criticizing the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party.
Both Liz and Czuchnowski reported the threats to the police and believe their children were targeted because of their work. “My understanding is that I am targeted,” Tomasz Lis told CPJ.
“Polish authorities should take the death threats and harassment of journalists Wojciech Czuchnowski and Tomasz Lis’ children seriously, and hold the perpetrators to account,” said Gulnoza Said, CPJ’s Europe and Central Asia program coordinator.
“Journalists in Poland who critically cover the government should be able to report freely, and authorities must ensure that they can continue their work without fear or intimidation,” he added.