THEY ARE BEHIND BARS BECAUSE THEY BOUGHT LAND
With complete ruthlessness – that is, with the usage of handcuffs, often at homes, in the eyes of terrified families, or unexpectedly, while working on a field – 11 farmers from Pyrzyce in the province of Szczecin were arrested. Prosecutors accuse the men of establishing tenders for the purchase of land from the resources of Agricultural Estate Agency, which means deceiving the State Treasury, which could have sold its land at a much higher price and earn more. In documents the farmers were called a ‘criminal group’ and a preventive means was used against them in the form of temporary custody. The accusation is serious but in the opinion of many people – is not right. Being sure about their innocence, their colleagues, including the Individual Farmers of the ‘Solidarity’ Movement were supporting the arrested. Procurators claim that they have strong evidence for their guilt, and the court approves of the accusation. The men were taken behind bars and in the streets of Szczecin, where there is the custody, farmers appeared - on foot and on enormous machines – who were manifesting their protest towards such a way of treating the citizens of the Polish Republic. Families of the arrested also arrived at the Provincial Office and Procurators’ Office. They all were speaking about the open harm, a political game whose victims were the farmers. There also appeared an argument that it concerned discouraging Polish farmers from purchasing land, which would cause a situation in which other people working for foreign investors would buy it. We should remember that it concerns the land on the so-called regained lands. And many farmers accused by procurators, had earlier been engaged in defence of the Polish land.
The arrested were supported by the metropolitan of Szczecin archbishop Andrzej Dzięga. He even established a special committee for supporting the families of the arrested. The euro-deputy Janusz Wojciechowski made an appeal in a letter for acquitting the farmers from the custody and a possibility of being released pending trial. In his letter he appealed to the General Procurator to influence his subordinates somehow, and cause quick release of the farmers. Because Poles are right to say that the justice administration allows bandits with guns be at large, while hard-working innocent people are sent to prison. The agriculture minister, Marek Sawicki, vouched for the arrested publicly, and the prime minister Ewa Kopacz was to evaluate the situation and who, unfortunately, admitted that procurators were right.
On 16 October 2015 the farmers were released on bail. A spokeswoman of procurators in Szczecin explained that the arrested could be released as a procurator had all evidence and testimonies of witnesses, so there was no worry about making the investigation difficult. Bails according to appeal of attorneys were determined on the level of 50 thousand to 120 thousand zlotys.