Polish activists face jail for sticking up Virgin Mary posters with rainbow halo

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01/11/2021

The trial of three Polish activists accused of “offending religious beliefs” will start on Wednesday, according to LGBT+ rights organisation ILGA-Europe, and could result in each one being jailed for up to two years. Elżbieta, Anna and Joanna – whose last names have not been released – were arrested in 2019 and charged the next year after they stuck up posters of the Virgin Mary adorned with a rainbow halo, symbolic of the popular flag used to represent the LGBT+ community. Polish Conservative politician Joachim Brudziński took to Twitter at the time of Elżbieta’s arrest in 2019 – she was taken in by police before Anna and Joanna – to announce that someone had been arrested for “carrying out a profanation of the Virgin Mary of Częstochowa”. Police arrested and detained Elżbieta upon her return to Poland from a trip abroad with Amnesty International. An official investigation was then launched in May 2019, resulting in all three women being charged in July 2020.

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