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Prosecutor probes whether Polish nationalists promoted fascism

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 21.04.2016 16:39
A Polish prosecutor's office is probing whether an organisation of Polish nationalists promoted fascism during anniversary events on Saturday in Białystok, north-eastern Poland.
The ONR march on 16 April in Białystok. Photo: Youtube screenshotThe ONR march on 16 April in Białystok. Photo: Youtube screenshot

Several hundred members of the National Radical Camp (ONR) descended on the city for events marking the 82nd anniversary of the group's foundation.

Police have submitted footage of the day's happenings to the District Prosecutor of south Białystok, and the office has 30 days to reach a decision on the matter.

Besides the alleged crime of promoting fascism, the office will also be examining whether ONR members made insults connected with national, ethnic, racial, or religious affiliation.

According to Poland's Criminal Code, a prison sentence of up to two years can be handed down for the promotion of fascism, while the crime of publicly insulting a group or an individual because of their national, ethnic, racial, or religious affiliation can warrant a sentence of up to three years.


Saturday's events have already led to a chain of apologies from various institutions, including the Białystok University of Technology and the Roman Catholic Church.

ONR members attended a mass in the city's cathedral prior to their march, with the service led by Father Jacek Międlar, who allegedly declared that nationalist-Catholic radicalism” is the cure for malignant” elements in Polish society.

On Tuesday, the Polish Episcopate banned the priest from speaking in public and apologised for the fact that a nationalistic mass had taken place in the cathedral, stating that this was due to “administrative negliglence.”

Meanwhile, the university has dismissed the head of the Foundation for the Development of the Białystok University of Technology, which had allowed ONR to host a concert in a student club on the campus.

The foundation has claimed that it was fed misinformation by the organisers of the concert, and that it believed that a private birthday party was due to be held at the venue.

When the reality became clear – apparently the day before the concert – the university urged its foreign students to stay in their halls of residence until the festivities were over. (nh/pk)

tags: bialystok
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