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Walesa says he was 'knocked about' by British customs

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 14.10.2013 12:41
Former president Lech Walesa has claimed he was roughed up by a British customs officer while travelling to the UK on Friday.

Lech Walesa: photo - Lech Walesa Institute

“I was deceptively and provocatively exposed by the [Polish] embassy in London and then knocked about at customs control at the airport,” Walesa wrote on his blog.

Walesa had been travelling to London to attend the UK premiere of Andrzej Wajda's biopic Walesa: Man of Hope.

Speaking with the Gazeta Wyborcza daily on Monday, Walesa claimed that he had asked the Polish Embassy “three times” prior to the flight whether he would get VIP clearance at the unnamed London airport.

"They assured me yes," he said.

“We arrived at the airport and nothing was arranged.

“To add to this, there was a customs man who didn't like Poles, and when he saw me, he started to bash me.”

Walesa noted that because he was expecting VIP clearance, he had not packed his bag too carefully, and had “thrown his socks and pants in any old how.

“They pulled those messed about socks and pants from the case, showing everything,” he said.

“It was shameful.”

Michal Safianik, a press spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, has told Polish Radio that the London embassy tried to organise VIP clearance for Walesa, but that British authorities would not agree to this, as he is no longer a serving president.

Walesa added that on the way back, “everything was fine.” (nh)

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