Man who burned Jewish effigy sues over anti-Semite label

Jewish leaders of Polish town sued by man who burned effigy of haredi Jew for calling him anti-Semitic.



The Polish man sentenced to prison for burning an effigy of a haredi Jew said he will sue the leaders of the Wroclaw, Poland Jewish community for publicly naming him an anti-Semite.

Piotr Rybak, who was sentenced to three months in prison for the November 2015 incident, said the leaders named in his lawsuit are Aleksander Gleichgewicht, chairman of the Jewish community in Wrocław; and Rafał Dutkiewicz, president of the Wroclaw Jewish community.

Rybak burned an effigy of a haredi Orthodox Jew during a demonstration in Wroclaw against accepting refugees in Poland. The original Wroclaw court sentenced him to 10 months in prison. An appeals court reduced the sentence to three months in prison.

Rybak asked for the possibility of serving his penalty under house arrest with an electronic surveillance system. The original court rejected this request. On Tuesday, the appeals court ordered the lower court to reconsider this request.

After leaving the courtroom, Rybak said: “With my lawyers we are already considering how to sue Dutkiewicz and Gleichgewicht, who called me a fascist, anti-Semite, and stinking nationalist.”