Polish Senate passes Holocaust Bill

ANI | Updated: Feb 01, 2018 14:03 IST

Warsaw [Poland], Feb 1 (ANI): Poland's Senate has approved a controversial bill which bars any mention of crimes by the "Polish nation" during the Holocaust.

Several media reports stated that the upper house of the Polish Parliament passed the bill with 57 votes to 23, with two abstentions.

The bill also prohibits branding Nazi death camps in Poland as Polish. It sets fines or a maximum three-year jail term as punishment. It also exempts artistic and research work.

"We have to send a clear signal to the world that we won't allow for Poland to continue being insulted", Patryk Jaki, a deputy justice minister, told reporters in the Parliament.

The lower house of the Parliament passed the bill last Friday triggering the protest from abroad.

Israel called for the bill to be dropped, seeing one of its provisions as an attempt to deny Polish involvement in Nazi Germany's extermination of Jews.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had then called the proposed law "baseless" and ordered his country's ambassador in Warsaw to meet with Polish leaders to express his strong opposition.

"The law is baseless. I strongly oppose it. History cannot be changed and it is forbidden to deny the Holocaust. I ordered the Israeli embassy in Poland to meet with the Polish Prime Minister and express my firm stand against the law", Netanyahu said.

The United States (US) and Israel both urged Poland to drop the bill, saying it would restrict free speech and academic research.

The bill must be signed off by the president before entering into law. (ANI)