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Bialystok mayor pledges action over racist attacks

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 14.05.2013 10:01
The mayor of Bialystok, north eastern Poland, has pledged to take action after a trio of racist attacks in the city.

Bialystok mayor Tadeusz Truskolaski: photo - Polish Radio

The latest incident took place on Thursday, when an unidentified attacker set fire to the apartment of a Polish-Indian couple in the early hours of the morning.

The crime follows two similar incidents, in which flats rented by Chechen families in the neighbouring housing estate were set alight.

Besides the official investigation, Mayor Tadeusz Truskolaski told Polish Radio on Monday that more surveillance cameras are scheduled to appear on the estate, and he pledged that an additional 100,000 zloty (24,000 euro) will be diverted to educational, anti-racist programmes.

During a meeting with the victims of Thursday's attack, he likewise offered to help the Indian man (who met his Polish wife in London), to gain Polish citizenship.

Truskolaski's promises follow on from a statement on Saturday by Minister of the Interior Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz, who has appointed a special team to find the perpetrators of the crimes.

The search will see cooperation between the Internal Security Agency (ABW) and local police, and a reward of 10,000 zloty (2400) has been set up for information that might lead to the capture of the assailant.

The Polish state is ready to do a great deal over this matter,” Sienkiewicz said, as quoted by the Polish Press Agency (PAP).

“And the perpetrator will soon will find out about this,” he added.

The Bialystok region has witnessed many highly publicised racist incidents over the last two years, including an arson attack on a Muslim Cultural Centre, vandalism of Jewish graveyards and monuments, and the defacement of 28 Lithuanian road signs (there is a significant Lithuanian minority in the region). (nh)

tags: bialystok, racism
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