Thousands protest in Poland demanding release of LGBT activist

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The police started releasing detained protesters on Saturday, but not Margot.

She is a member of the activist group “Stop Bzdurom.” The group have said they hung flags on statues last week as part of a fight for LGBT rights, an issue thrust into the heart of public debate in Poland during last month’s presidential election.

The commissioner for human rights at the Council of Europe, a rights watchdog, called for the immediate release of the activist.

“Order to detain her for 2 months sends very chilling signal for freedom of speech and LGBT rights in Poland,” Commissioner Dunja Mijatovic tweeted.

The ruling nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party says LGBT rights are part of what it calls an invasive foreign ideology that undermines Polish values and the traditional family.

Condemning Friday’s protest, Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro said authorities had to act or face “even more violent” attacks by activists. (Reporting by Marcin Goclowski and Alicja Ptak; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Gareth Jones)