Political tensions high in Poland on eve of rights report

Poland's foreign minister says his country will challenge the findings of an international human rights commission which is expected to deliver a scathing assessment of democratic backsliding in the European Union's largest ex-communist member state.

Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski said Thursday that Poland plans to dispute the findings of the Venice Commission, an arm of the Council of Europe human rights group, which is scheduled to deliver its report on Friday in Venice.

A leaked draft of the report was strongly critical of the government.

Waszczykowski said: "I won't hide the fact that we plan to dispute this opinion" and that members of a Polish delegation who will travel to Venice to meet with the commission members "will disprove the charges."