Poland Abolishes Anti-Racism Watchdog

Virginia Hale, Breitbart, May 6, 2016

Poland’s landslide-elected right-wing government has abolished the national Council Against Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.

The Law and Justice (PiS) party this week scrapped a public body designed to fight racism and investigate “hate crimes”, citing its inefficiency. Government spokesman Rafal Bochenek told reporters the council’s responsibilities will be taken over by “more efficient” state institutions.

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The human rights Ombudsman, and parties opposed to PiS, have widely condemned the government’s abolition of the body as they say hate crimes are increasing in Poland. “It’s shameful. The council is absolutely necessary amid the increasing number of racially motivated attacks and rising xenophobia,” Ombudsman Adam Bodnar told AFP.

“The fears, spread by certain political parties about refugees are feeding into racist comments on the Internet, and this has not been firmly condemned,” he continued.

The Times of Israel reported that Polish prosecutors last launched 1,500 probes into cases of alleged discrimination and racially motivated hate crimes, up from the investigation of 60 such cases in 2009.

Polish politician Katarzyna Lubnauer, of the socially and economically liberal Modern party, said she was “outraged” at the liquidation of the state council. Given increasing reluctance in Poland towards accepting “people of another colour, another race, or who use a language other than Polish”, the MP stressed she believes the institution is ”very much needed”.

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