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Poland creates 'hate-crime map'

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 07.09.2011 14:30
Poland’s ombudsman for civil rights and Polish Police HQ have drawn up a 'map of hatred', pinpointing areas which are most often the scene of hate-related incidents and vandalism.

Irena Lipowicz with Police Chief Andrzej Matejuk; photo - PAP/Pawel Supernak

Ombudsman Irena Lipowicz said that the cities of Bialystok, Warsaw and Wroclaw are cities where hate-crime incidents are most common in Poland.

“In Bialystok, a black student of medicine was attacked by four men,” she told Polish Radio.

“He said later they beat him as if they meant to kill. Passers-by ignored the incident until two elderly women stood between the attackers and their victim, cried for help and beat the attackers with their handbag, forcing them to retreat.”

Poland has seen a series of racist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic incidents directed recently against Lithuanian and Muslim minorities as well as Jewish symbols.

Polish signposts were vandalized in Lithuania and most recently in the Czech Republic, while fascist and Neo-Nazi organizations have been gaining popularity around Europe.

Professor Lipowicz hopes that the Euro2012 soccer championships will help Poland to improve its image, as it happened in Germany, when it hosted the event.

“ My main concern now is that all of us, including the sports ministry, devote major attention to new, beautiful sports stadiums. But if the stadiums and streets around them project the image of Poland as a country where racial hatred exists and demons of the past are awakened, then it is really very sad. We have to explain this to United Nations bodies, the incidents are given international coverage,” Professor Lipowicz said. (kk/pg)

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