We express our greatest concern about the proposed amendment to the National Remembrance Institute Act, with a particular regard to introduction of articles 55a and 55b.
In our opinion, the wording of the proposed amendments is highly imprecise and leaves a large margin for confusion. In particular, it lacks a precise definition of the term "artistic or academic activity" and the status of a public statement, which are a subject of this Act.
A lot of research providing high cognitive value is pursued by people without an academic title, who may be penalized under the proposed Act.
The question of education also remains unclear - the proposed amendment leaves a possibility to penalize educational activities in schools or in institutions such as the Jewish Historical Institute, if the subject regards tensions in Polish-Jewish relations.
Pt. 2 of the Act, regarding penalization of unintentional actions, is also unacceptable.
In our opinion, the amendment to this Act in aforementioned wording is a regress in terms of freedom of research, freedom of speech and popularization of knowledge.
We appeal to the Members of Sejm, Members of Senate and to the President of Poland to refrain from passing the Act in its current form.
Our position is also confirmed in the statute of the JHI.
Professor Paweł Śpiewak, Director of the Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute