Polish official to discuss entry ban for journalist with UK ambassador

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

The British ambassador to Warsaw has been summoned to the Polish Foreign Ministry for a meeting after a Polish right-wing journalist and writer was banned from entering the United Kingdom.

Rafał Ziemkiewicz was detained at Heathrow Airport on Saturday. He was travelling with his wife and daughter, who was about to start her studies at Oxford University.

In an official refusal of entry issued by the UK's 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."

Szymon Szynkowski vel Sęk, a Polish deputy foreign minister, said on Monday he will discuss the matter with the British ambassador to Poland, Anna Clunes.

"I will invite Great Britain's Ambassador Anna Clunes to the Foreign Ministry to make sure that freedom of speech is in the catalogue of British values and ask how this corresponds to the behaviour of the British services towards Rafał Ziemkiewicz," Szynkowski vel Sęk wrote on Twitter.

In 2018, Rupa Huq intervened with the British Home Office over a speech that Ziemkiewicz was to deliver in Ealing, a London borough, the third one in a series after Bristol and Cambridge.

The Ealing meeting was cancelled after the Huq's intervention, in which she accused Ziemkiewicz of hate speech, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.

"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 a Saturday 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.

Ziemkiewicz told the right-wing website Salon24 on Monday that he had been detained for three hours and interrogated. He was searched, photographed and his fingerprints were taken.

On Saturday, he told PAP that he had been "arrested along 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."

He added that he was tired and disillusioned with the country which proved to be "leftist and fascist in its actions."

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