Berlin, March 4, 2022 – In response to multiple reports that Polish authorities charged Spanish freelance reporter Pablo González with spying for Russia on Tuesday, March 1, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued the following statement expressing concern:
“We are concerned by Poland’s indictment of Spanish freelance reporter Pablo González on charges of spying for Russia,” said Attila Mong, CPJ’s Europe representative. “Polish authorities must guarantee that González has access to proper legal representation and a fair and transparent legal procedure, and ensure he is not sanctioned for his journalistic activities. Reporting is not a crime.”
CPJ emailed the Polish Internal Security Agency for comment on the case, and received a statement, which detailed that on February 28, González was arrested in the southeastern Polish town of Przemyśl, not in Rzeszów as CPJ and others initially reported. The journalist was charged under Article 30, paragraph 1, of the Polish Criminal Code for “participation in the activities of a foreign intelligence service,” which carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years. González is a Spanish citizen of Russian descent, according to the statement.
González’s lawyer, Gonzalo Boye, told CPJ via messaging app that the reporter has been questioned without the presence of a lawyer and has not had contact with anyone from abroad during the last four days. “Until now, neither his family or I have been able to speak with him and we are waiting for the Spanish consulate to arrange a permit for me to visit him in prison,” Boye said.