Poland summons UK ambassador after right-wing author refused entry

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WARSAW, Oct 4 (Reuters) – Poland will summon the British ambassador to clarify why a journalist accused of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, homophobia and the justification of rape was refused entry to Britain, a deputy overseas minister mentioned on Monday.

Rafal Ziemkiewicz was detained at London’s Heathrow airport on Saturday after travelling to Britain together with his spouse and daughter, who’s beginning a course at Oxford University. He was subsequently denied entry and flew again to Warsaw.

In a letter posted on social media by a British lawmaker, the UK border pressure attributed the choice to “conduct and views which are at odds with British values and likely to cause offence”.

“This week I will invite British Ambassador Anna Clunes to the Foreign Ministry to make sure that freedom of speech is included in the catalogue of British values and to ask how this corresponds to the attitude of British services to Rafal Ziemkiewicz,” Deputy Foreign Minister Szymon Szynkowski vel Sek mentioned on Twitter.

Neither the British embassy nor Ziemkiewicz might instantly be reached for remark.

‘POWERFUL HATRED’

In an interview with right-wing weekly Do Rzeczy on Sunday, Ziemkiewicz blamed the UK authorities’ choice on a deceptive impression of him created by liberal and left-wing Poles.

“I fell victim to a really powerful hatred against Poland by Poles themselves,” he was quoted as saying.

Poland’s Human Rights Ombudsman has accused Ziemkiewicz of anti-Semitism after he mentioned on Polish public tv final yr that Jews had cooperated with Germans within the Holocaust.

In 2014 he was accused of justifying rape after a Tweet by which he mentioned “whoever has never taken advantage of a drunk person, let him throw the first stone”.

Ziemkiewicz, who writes for Do Rzeczy and is the writer of a number of books, cancelled a visit to Britain in 2018 after lawmakers raised considerations with the police over his views.

Reporting by Alan Charlish, extra reporting by Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk
Editing by Gareth Jones

Polish journalist Rafal Ziemkiewicz sits inside the National Museum in Warsaw, Poland November 25, 2018. Picture taken November 25, 2018. Jedrzej Nowicki/Agencja Gazeta via REUTERS

Polish journalist Rafal Ziemkiewicz speaks during an event at University of Opole in Opole, Poland March 23, 2011. Picture taken March 23, 2011. Michal Grocholski/Agencja Gazeta via REUTERS

Polish journalist Rafal Ziemkiewicz sits inside the National Museum in Warsaw, Poland November 25, 2018. Picture taken November 25, 2018. Jedrzej Nowicki/Agencja Gazeta via REUTERS