Avtomat was reportedly detained while protesting against the arrest of an LGBTQ+ rights activist.
Polish DJ and Oramics member Avtomat was reportedly arrested at a protest in Warsaw on Friday (7 August).
The protest took place in the Polish capital in defence of LGBTQ+ rights activist and Stop Bzdurom founder Margot, who was due to be arrested for allegedly vandalising a van bearing homophobic slogans. She is also alleged to be part of a group responsible for adding rainbow flags and masks bearing the anarcho-queer symbol to historic monuments in Warsaw.
Police officers reportedly gave up on their initial attempt to arrest Margot after an hour of protests, despite the activist volunteering herself to officers. Later, it is reported that plainclothes police arrived in an unmarked car to arrest Margot. Protesters reportedly sat around the police car in an attempt to block the arrest, however, were unsuccessful. Shortly after Margot’s arrest, sources say the police began arresting protesters, including Avtomat.
As The Journal reports, Polish police claim to have arrested 48 protesters at the demonstration. A source reports that they saw officers “throwing [protesters] on the ground without warning.”
According to a tweet from Oramics, Avtomat was released on Saturday evening, however sources say that other protesters remain in custody. The DJ is a well-known member of the LGBTQ+ dance community in Poland and contributed a track to last year’s Oramics compilation Total Solidarity, proceeds from which went to supporting queer organisations across the country.
The Council of Europe’s Human Rights Commissioner Dunja Mijatovic has called for Margot’s release.
Poland’s president Andrzej Duda was sworn in for a second term in July. Duda has been a vocal critic of LGBTQ+ rights and ran on a platform to introduce a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and adoption.
Stop Bzdurom is currently raising funds to cover legal costs. Find out more and support them via their website.