UN experts fear Polish clampdown on dissent at climate talks

A group of United Nations human rights experts is urging Poland to ensure peaceful protest can take place at this year's global climate talks amid concerns that new laws could stifle dissent.

The five independent experts, appointed by the Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Council, say the Polish government must ensure "meaningful civic space" at the December talks in Poland's southern city of Katowice.

The group said Monday that new laws appear to give security agencies sweeping powers to put participants of the talks under surveillance currently reserved for suspected criminals. They said another law could prevent the kind of spontaneous protests that are a staple of the annual U.N. climate talks.

Polish officials didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.