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National and ethnic minorities call for prevention of xenophobia

Representatives of national and ethnic minorities organisations have called on Polish authorities to tackle the rising wave of xenophobia and violence based on nationality, race and religion.

“We are a country with a long and proud tradition of freedom and tolerance but we are becoming a state that the world and its own national minorities perceive as increasingly xenophobic”, minority representatives wrote in their statement.

For several years, hate crime in Poland has been on the rise. This trend is clearly visible, e.g., in a recent report of the National Prosecutor’s Office for the first half of 2017, which notes an increase in the number of violent offences fuelled by anti-Muslim, anti-Ukrainian or anti-Semitic sentiments.

The minority organisations also pointed to many notorious manifestations of anti-Semitism that appeared at the occasion of the amendment to the National Remembrance Institute Act. “These voices sound especially ominously in the eve of the 50th anniversary of March’68, one of the darkest eras in the history of modern Poland”, the organisations wrote.

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