The release from prison of a man who killed and raped four boys is causing an uproar in Poland.
The Polish media on Wednesday urged parents to watch over their children, opposition leaders accused the state of failing to ensure security and called for justice minister Marek Biernacki to resign, while justice authorities insisted the situation was under control.
The man, identified only as Mariusz T., under Poland's privacy regulations, left prison Tuesday night after serving his sentence and was taken to an unknown location under police escort.
A court is to decide in the coming weeks whether the man is still dangerous and should be put in a closed center for psychological treatment.
Meanwhile, he remains under constant police surveillance and cannot leave Poland, national police chief Marek Dzialoszynski said.
The release was top news in Poland, with tabloid headlines reading "The beast is at large" and "The pedophile is prowling again."
The man's death sentence for raping and killing four boys in Piotrkow Trybunalski, in central Poland, in 1988 was commuted to 25 years under an amnesty announced when Poland shed communism in 1989. The nation had no life imprisonment term at the time.
Left-leaning opposition leader Leszek Miller accused the government of Prime Minister Donald Tusk of being late with regulations that require dangerous criminals to undergo treatment in a closed center if a court decides it is necessary. The regulations took effect at the end of last month, leaving too little time for court deliberations before Mariusz T. was released.
Interior Minister Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz said that media reaction to the situation borders on "hysteria" beyond any danger.