Mateusz Kijowski is an IT specialist, journalist, social activist and blogger.
His interests and major activities have been focused on human rights and open society values. In the past, he has initiated a nationwide discussion about rape culture in Poland, supported actions helping refugees and asylum seekers and campaigned for shared custody and the protection of children while their parents fight their divorce battles. He has also been involved in various actions against anti-vaccine movements and quackery.
At the onset of the Polish constitutional crisis, on the 19th of November 2015, he started the Committee for the Defence of Democracy (Polish: Komitet Obrony Demokracji or KOD) as a Facebook group and within three days the group had gathered over thirty thousand members to organise peaceful protests in the defence of democracy and civil rights in Poland.
On the 3rd of December 2015, KOD organised a picket in support of the Constitutional Tribunal’s actions to ensure the rule of law in Poland. Subsequent protests with over 50,000 participants took place on the 12th of December 2015 in Warsaw and on the 9th of December 2015 with over 100,000 people on the streets in more than 20 Polish cities and several European capitals. Since then, KOD has organized many actions and events in support of democratic values, legal order and dialogue. The organisation was awarded the 2016 European Citizens’ Prize by the European Parliament for defending fundamental rights and democracy.
Information valid as of summer 2017.