Current status of the following movements: Komitet Obrony Robotnikow (KOR, Committee for the Defense of Workers), Konfederacja Polski Niepodleglej (KPN, Confederation for an Independent Poland) and the Independent Students' Union (NZS) (2001-May 2002); reports of members who were punished for participating in anti-government activities (1980-1990); treatment of their current and former members (2001-May 2002) [POL38987.E]

Komitet Obrony Robotnikow (KOR)

On 10 October 2001, Prime Minister Leszek Miller, who had been appointed a week before, presented the 15 candidates he chose to form the new Democratic Left Alliance-Union for Labour-Polish Peasant Party coalition government (Rzeczpospolita 11 Oct. 2001). Among the 15 was Andrzej Celinski, the candidate for Minister of Culture and National Heritage (ibid.). In its biography of the candidate, Rzeczpospolita, a Polish daily political and economic daily described as independent and centrist, indicates that Andrzej Celinski was subjected to "repressions" and spent a year in internment during the martial law period because he had been a member of the Society of Scholarly Courses, of the Committee for the Defense of Workers (KOR) and later of Solidarity (ibid.). Between 1989 and 1993, Celinski served as a senator (ibid.).

Under the terms of a government amnesty enacted on 22 July 1984, 632 "political prisoners," including four leaders of the Workers Defense Committee, were reportedly released by February 1985 (Country Reports 1984 Feb. 1985, 1056).

For information on the disbandment of the Komitet Obrony Robotnikow (KOR) in 1981, please see POL1288.E of 23 June 1989.

Konfederacja Polski Niepodleglej (KPN)

The Confederation for an Independent Poland, or Konfederacja Polski Niepodleglej (KPN) (Europa World Year Book 2001 2001, 3228), is described as a right-wing political party led by Leszek Moczulski (PAP 31 July 2001) founded in 1979 (Europe World Year Book 2001 2001, 3228). A 14 February 2001 dispatch by PAP described the KPN as a "minor party." According to the Europe World Year Book 2001, the party is located at ul. Nowy Swiat 18/20, 00-920 Warsaw and has approximately 35,000 members (2001, 3228). The same source lists the KPN as a member of the Movement for the Republic of Poland, a "right-wing, patriotic alliance registered [in] 1996 as a federative party," which forms the Alliance of Polish Christian Democrats with the Centre Alliance and the Party of Christian Democrats (ibid.).

On 31 July 2001, its leader announced that the KPN would field candidates in all 41 constituencies on the lists of the ruling Solidarity Electoral Action of the Right (PAP 31 July 2001). Moczulski explained that the KPN felt close to the Action's right-wing opinions (ibid.). However, the leader planned to run for Senate, the upper house of parliament, as an independent candidate (ibid.).

KPN members, described as "radical" by PAP, an independent Polish news agency, voiced "angry slogans" at President Aleksander Kwasniewski as he was paying tribute to nine miners of the Wujek colliery in Katowice (southern Poland) who had been killed in 1981 by riot police (13 Dec. 2001). The miners had been protesting against martial law (ibid.).

According to Country Reports 1986, Leszek Moczulski, the KPN's leader, was sentenced to four years of imprisonment in April 1986 for "engaging in activity contrary to state interests," but was released (Feb. 1987, 996) following the adoption on 17 July 1986 of a law on conditional clemency for political prisoners and an amnesty on 11 September 1986 (ibid., 992). Country Reports 1981 indicated that the KPN was one of the main targets of a government campaign against "anti-Socialist forces" (Feb. 1982, 845).

Polish Radio 1, a nation-wide public radio network, mentioned that the KPN had splintered into three parties, including the Confederation for an Independent Poland - Homeland (KPN-O) led by Michal Janiszewski (2 Feb. 2001).

There is a reference to the KPN-O as one of the more than 30 founders of the Alternative social movement (Alternatywa) (PAP 19 Mar. 2001). The movement, formed in early 2001, is opposed to Poland's accession to the European Union (ibid.). According to Polish Radio 1, the KPN-O invited Jean-Marie Le Pen and a group of National Front members of the French parliament to visit Poland (2 Feb. 2001).

There is a reference to the "right-wing" Confederation for an Independent Poland-Patriotic Camp (KPN-OP) (PAP 25 Feb. 2001), led by Adam Slomka (Europa World Year Book 2001 2001, 3228). At the 8th congress of the party, held on 25 February 2001 in Warsaw, members were expected to elect the party's new leadership and debate the party's place on the political scene (PAP 25 Feb. 2001).

Independent Students' Union (NZS)

Two sources describe the NZS as the Independent Students' Union or Association (Polish Radio 1 30 May 2001; AI 1 Jan. 1998, 39).

On 12 December 2001, during a nation-wide action organized by university students to protest the government's plan to reduce its subsidies to public transport, representatives from the NZS student union were received by Marek Borowski, the Speaker of the Sejm, to discuss the government's plan and the expected hike in fares (PAP 12 Dec. 2001).

No references to the treatment of KOR, KPN and NZS current and former members by the authorities since January 2001 could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Amnesty International (AI). 1 January 1998. Concerns in Europe. July-December 1997. [Accessed 7 May 2002]

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1986. February 1987. "Poland." Washington, DC: US Department of State.

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1984. February 1985. "Poland." Washington, DC: US Department of State.

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1981. February 1982. "Poland." Washington, DC: US Department of State.

Europe World Year Book 2001. 2001. Vol. 1. London: Europa Publications.

PAP [Warsaw, in English]. 13 December 2001. "Polish President Pays Tribute to Miners Killed During 1981 Martial Law." (FBIS-EEU-2001-1213 13 Dec. 2001/WNC)

_____. 12 December 2001. "Polish Students Stage Protests Against Higher Fares." (BBC Monitoring 12 Dec. 2001/NEXIS)

_____. 31 July 2001. "Poland: Rightist Party Joins Ruling Formation Election Lists." (FBIS-EEU-2001-0731 31 July 2001/WNC)

_____. 19 March 2001. "Poland: Anti-Europe Political Movement Formed." (FBIS-EEU-2001-0319 19 Mar. 2001/WNC)

_____. 25 February 2001. "Poland: Right-Wing Party Holds Congress to Determine its Future." (FBIS-EEU-2001-0225 25 Feb. 2001/WNC)

_____. 14 February 2001. "Polish Minor Party Wants to Cooperate With Ruling Grouping." (FBIS-EEU-2001-0214 14 Feb. 2001/WNC)

Polish Radio 1 [Warsaw, in Polish]. 30 May 2001. "Polish Defence Minister Signs Accord With Academic Legion to Train Students." (BBC Monitoring 30 May 2001/NEXIS)

_____. 2 February 2001. "Right-Wing Party Invites French Right-Wing Leader to Visit Poland ." (FBIS-EEU-2001-0202 2 Feb. 2001/WNC)

Rzeczpospolita [Warsaw, in Polish]. 11 October 2001. Eliza Olczyk. "Candidates for Posts in New Government in Poland Profiled, Challenges Viewed." (FBIS-EEU-2001-1011 11 Oct. 2001/WNC)

Additional Sources Consulted

IRB Databases

Unsuccessful attempts to contact a professor with the European and Russian Studies Institute of Carleton University.

Internet sites including:

Freedom House

The Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights [Warsaw]

Human Rights Watch

The International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) [Prague]

UK Immigration and Nationality Directorate Country Assessments

The Warsaw Voice