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7 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Poland’s president signs controversial Holocaust bill into law

AFP

WARSAW: Poland’s President Andrzej Duda yesterday signed into law a controversial Holocaust bill intended to safeguard his country’s image abroad but which has instead sparked tensions with Israel, the US and Ukraine, reports AFP.

Duda also said he would send the law, which will come into force, to the Constitutional Tribunal to rule on whether it conforms with constitutional guarantees on freedom of speech.

The law sets fines or a maximum three-year jail term for anyone who erroneously describes Nazi German death camps like Auschwitz-Birkenau as being Polish, simply due to their geographical location.

Israel, however, has expressed concern that the legislation could open the door to prosecuting Holocaust survivors for their testimony should it concern the involvement of individual Poles for allegedly killing or giving up Jews to the Germans. “I have decided to sign the law but also to send it to the Constitutional Tribunal,” Duda told reporters in Warsaw.

He said that his decision “preserves the interests of Poland, our dignity and the historical truth” and also “takes into account the sensitivity of those for whom the question of historical memory of the Holocaust remains exceptionally important, especially those who have survived and who, as long as they can, should tell the world about this past and their experience”.

The legislation has triggered an unprecedented diplomatic row with Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared last week that “we have no tolerance for the distortion of the truth and rewriting history or denying the Holocaust”.

 

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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