Polish Senate votes for law on Institute of National Memory

Source : 112 Ukraine

57 senators voted “for”, 23 – “against”, two abstained
09:25, 1 February 2018

Open source

The Senate of Poland at about 3 am (Kyiv time) adopted a law on the National Memory Institute of Poland, which criminalizes the denial of the crimes of Ukrainian nationalists against the Poles. This was reported by TVP info.

57 senators voted for the adoption of this bill, mainly the ruling party Law and Justice (PiS), 23 senators of opposition voted against, and two senators abstained.

During the day the Senate, first in the commissions, and then at a meeting of the upper house of parliament, held heated discussion about the content of this law.

Ukraine’s foreign ministry expressed concerns over the law’s approval by the Sejm, pointing out that Poland is trying to depict Ukrainians as ‘criminal-bent nationalists’. In order to take effect, the law still has to be approved by the Senate and the President; however, it is widely considered that the most crucial stage – approval by the Sejm – is now over.

Related: European Parliament launches procedure for sanctions against Poland

Polish Sejm on January 26 adopted the bill, providing criminal penalty for public accusations of Poland of crimes during Holocaust, of helping Nazi Germany, of military crimes or crimes against humanity. The bill forbids to use combination of words “Polish death camp” when describing concentration camps that were on the territory of Poland. Any citizen of the country, including foreigners that breached the law will have to pay a fine or imprisoned for up to three years.

Amendments to the bill also provide for criminal liability for the denial of the Volyn tragedy and propaganda of "Bandera ideology". The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry expressed concern over the adoption of this document. The international community criticized him as "denying the Holocaust and depicting Ukrainians in an unattractive light." Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he was categorically against the adoption of this law.

Polish leader Andrzej Duda intends to carefully consider the draft law about the Institute of the National Memory approved by the Sejm, the lower house of the Polish Parliament.

Related: Poland promises to uphold compliance with international law with respect to Ukraine

What were the most important news in Ukraine in January 2018?

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