Europe

Polish police raid office of anti-racism group

  • Board member of an NGO organization that monitors racism and xenophobia, Rafal Gawel, stands in his office in Warsaw, Poland, Friday, Feb. 3, 2017, shortly after it was raided by the police who seized computers. He said the early-morning raid on the Monitoring Center on Racist and Xenophobic Behavior was an attempt to intimidate it and destroy evidence that is inconvenient for the authorities. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

    Board member of an NGO organization that monitors racism and xenophobia, Rafal Gawel, stands in his office in Warsaw, Poland, Friday, Feb. 3, 2017, shortly after it was raided by the police who seized computers. He said the early-morning raid on the Monitoring Center on Racist and Xenophobic Behavior was an attempt to intimidate it and destroy evidence that is inconvenient for the authorities. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)  (The Associated Press)

  • Board member of an NGO organization that monitors racism and xenophobia, Rafal Gawel,  stands in his office in Warsaw, Poland, Friday, Feb. 3, 2017, shortly after it was raided by the police who seized computers. He said the early-morning raid on the Monitoring Center on Racist and Xenophobic Behavior was an attempt to intimidate it and destroy evidence that is inconvenient for the authorities.  (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

    Board member of an NGO organization that monitors racism and xenophobia, Rafal Gawel, stands in his office in Warsaw, Poland, Friday, Feb. 3, 2017, shortly after it was raided by the police who seized computers. He said the early-morning raid on the Monitoring Center on Racist and Xenophobic Behavior was an attempt to intimidate it and destroy evidence that is inconvenient for the authorities. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)  (The Associated Press)

A Polish organization that monitors racism and xenophobia says police raided its office in Warsaw and the private homes of some of its board members, seizing computers.

The Monitoring Center on Racist and Xenophobic Behavior said it considers the early morning raids on Friday an attempt to intimidate it and destroy evidence that is inconvenient for the authorities.

Lukasz Janyst, a spokesman for prosecutors, confirmed there were raids "at a number of locations in Warsaw" and said they were related to an investigation into fraud, the counterfeiting of documents and other wrongdoing.

The anti-racism group said on Facebook it operates legally and accused Poland of "turning into a police state."

Some civic rights advocates say they fear authorities are trying to silence non-governmental groups, as increasingly authoritarian Hungary has done.