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The Warsaw Voice » Politics » February 6, 2008
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Nurses' Phones Jammed
February 6, 2008   
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Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Grzegorz Schetyna Feb. 1 applied to the prosecutor's office to launch an investigation into the legality of using jamming devices during the nurses' protest in June 2007. Justice Minister Zbigniew Ćwiąkalski said that while the nurses' protest was illegal, it did not pose the kind of threat that would warrant jamming their mobile phones.

The protest began on June 19, when thousands of healthcare workers staged a demonstration in Warsaw demanding pay raises and increased health spending. Four nurses occupied a room in the Prime Minister's Office while their colleagues set up tents outside, creating a makeshift "white town." The protest inside the building ended on June 26 when the nurses met with then Prime Minister Jarosław Kaczyński. The "white town" was dismantled on July 13.

Dorota Gardias, head of the National Union of Nurses and Midwives, said the nurses inside encountered problems with contacting anyone outside during their eight-day sit-in. She added that officials also denied them access to power sockets to recharge their phone batteries.

Joachim Brudziński, a prominent politician from the Law and Justice (PiS) party, now in opposition, said that the nurses had been using their mobiles for live broadcasts. "If the Government Protection Bureau (BOR) really did jam their phones, then none of the women would have been able to make a call anywhere," he said.
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