Freedom House Statement on the Death of Lech Kaczynski and Other Members of Polish Leadership

Washington

Freedom House mourns the loss of Polish President Lech Kaczynski and the other passengers who died in a plane crash in western Russia on April 10.
 
In addition to President Kaczynski and his wife, Maria, the head of Poland’s central bank, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament and many other leading government officials and senior military officers perished in the crash. They died in transit to mark the 70th anniversary of the Katyn forest massacre, a Soviet-era crime in which thousands of Polish officers were murdered by Soviet forces under orders from Joseph Stalin.

“This is an extraordinary loss for Poland,” said Freedom House Executive Director Jennifer Windsor. “Freedom House extends its deepest condolences to the Polish people.” Windsor continued, “ The strength of the democratic constitutional order in Poland will be critical right now in providing for an orderly succession and stability at a difficult time.”

A total of 97 people are believed to have died in the tragic crash.
 
Poland is ranked Free in Freedom in the World 2010,Freedom House’s annual survey of political rights and civil liberties, and Free in Freedom of the Press 2009.
 
To learn more about Poland read:
 
 
 
Freedom of the Press 2009: Poland

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.
 
 
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Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

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