Foreign Ministry proposes less jail time for use of term 'Polish death camps'
PR dla Zagranicy
The Polish Foreign Ministry says that jail time for the use of the term 'Polish death camps' should be limited to three years, instead of the five proposed by the Justice Ministry.
Former German Nazi death camp in Auschwitz. Photo: Flickr.com/Adam Tas
The three-year limit is supported by Poland's Government Legislation Centre.
The Foreign Ministry argues that the use of the phrase "Polish death camps" by journalists and historians cannot carry a harsher sentence that Holocaust denial, a crime which is punishable by three years in prison in Poland.
The Ministry says that there is also a risk that this could be excessive interference in the freedom of expression guaranteed by the Polish Constitution and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
In a statement about the proposed bill in February, Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro said: “This will be a bill that meets the expectations of Poles, who are accused around the world – in Europe, even in Germany, that they are the perpetrators of the Holocaust; that in Poland there are 'Polish concentration camps, Polish gas chambers'.”
The use of the term "Polish concentration camp" by international media outlets has sparked numerous complaints from Poland in recent years, prompting some news agencies to change their style guidelines. In 2007, following a Polish request, the World Heritage Committee attempted to clarify the matter by listing the Auschwitz camp as a "German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp". (rg/pk)