Polish journalist refused entry to UK

Leszek Szymański/PAP

A Polish right-wing journalist was refused entry to the United Kingdom on Saturday due to his "conduct and views" which according to the British Border Force "are at odds with British values."

Rafal Ziemkiewicz was detained at Heathrow Airport on Saturday. He was travelling with his wife and daughter, who is about to start studying at Oxford University.

In an official refusal of entry issued by the Border Force, as quoted by British MP Rupa Huq on Twitter, Ziemkiewicz was told that his conduct and views "are at odds with British values and likely to cause offence."

"In 2018 when far-right Rafał Ziemkiewicz was planning a UK speaking tour including Acton I raised concerns with @metpoliceuk and he cancelled," Huq commented in her tweet.

"Anyone propagating racism including Islamophobia and Holocaust denial is unwelcome locally. Today looks like he’s been banned nationally," Huq added.

Ziemkiewicz told PAP on Saturday evening that he was detained for his views.

"I wanted to attend the inauguration of the academic year, I'm proud that my daughter was accepted to study there," Ziemkiewicz said.

The Polish right-wing website niezalezna.pl wrote that the writer was detained for three hours and interrogated. He was searched, photographed and his fingerprints were taken.

"I was arrested with other men, most of whom I could not communicate with in any European language. They came from Africa, some middle- and far-eastern countries," Ziemkiewicz complained.

According to Ziemkiewicz, his detention was due to his place in a report created in 2018 by Rafal Pankowski, a co-founder of the Never Again Association, a group fighting racism, neo-Fascism, xenophobia and discrimination.

In his conversation with PAP, Ziemkiewicz said he was tired and disillusioned with the country which proved to be "leftist and fascist in its actions."

Pawel Jablonski, a Polish deputy foreign minister, told the public television TVP Info on Saturday evening that Polish consular services had been aware of the problem from the very beginning.

Jablonski said the Foreign Ministry received signals that the reason for the refusal of entry was Ziemkiewicz's political views.

"We're unable to verify this at the moment," Jablonski said. "We'll try to clear it up with the British side," he added.

He also said that if the political views scenario was confirmed, it would be "a reason for great concern."

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