WARSAW, October 4 (Reuters) – Poland will summon the British Ambassador to explain why a journalist accused of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, homophobia and justifying rape has been refused entry to Britain, said a deputy foreign minister on Monday.
Rafal Ziemkiewicz was arrested at London Heathrow Airport on Saturday after traveling to Britain with his wife and daughter, who is starting a course at Oxford University. He was subsequently refused entry and flew to Warsaw.
In a letter posted to social media by a UK lawmaker, UK border forces attributed the decision to “conduct and opinions contrary to UK values ââand likely to offend.”
“This week I will invite British Ambassador Anna Clunes to the Foreign Office to make sure that freedom of speech is included in the British catalog of values ââand to ask how this matches the attitude of the British services towards Rafal Ziemkiewicz “, said Deputy Foreign Minister Szymon. Szynkowski vel Sek said on Twitter.
The British Embassy could not be reached immediately for comment.
The Polish human rights ombudsperson accused Ziemkiewicz of anti-Semitism after he said on Polish state television last year that some Jews had cooperated with Germans during the Holocaust.
In 2014, he was accused of having justified the rape after a tweet in which he declared “whoever has never taken advantage of a drunk person, let him throw the first stone”.
In a telephone conversation with Reuters, Ziemkiewicz denied the allegations of prejudice and said the UK authorities’ decision was based on misrepresentation of his statements.
“I was called a racist. I was called an Islamophobic and an anti-Semite (…) and I was called, what is most painful for me, a Holocaust denier. C ‘is a huge slander, âhe said.
Ziemkiewicz, who writes for the right-wing weekly Do Rzeczy and is the author of several books, canceled a trip to Britain in 2018 after lawmakers voiced concerns to police about his views.
Reporting by Alan Charlish, additional reporting by Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk Editing by Gareth Jones and Mark Heinrich
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