Wiesenthal Centre to European Commission Vice-president: "The European Parliament Must Not Become a Podium for Hate"

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Paris, 6 June

In a letter to the European Commission Vice-President, Viviane Reding, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's
Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, urged her condemnation of the "odious presence in the European Parliament (EP) yesterday of the owner and broadcaster of the racist Radio Marya. 'Father' Tadeusz Rydzyk not only dishonours the Polish Church, he has now tainted the European Union in its own headquarters."

Samuels called on the Commission "to censure Rydzik's hosts, the MEP's of Poland's Law and Justice Party for their abuse of the EP's democratic values by introducing a notorious hatemonger into its chamber."

The letter pointed out that "the European, Conservative and Reformist (ECR) club in the European Parliament, to which the Law and Justice Party (LJP) is affiliated must be warned. It is especially disquieting to discover the British Conservative Party's alliance with the Polish LJP."

The Centre similarly called upon U.K. Prime Minister, David Cameron "to break all ties with that Party, so that he will not - by default - appear to be endorsing the hate platform of Rydzyk and his neo-Nazi retinue."

Samuels thanked the Vice-President for her letter dated 5 May, clarifying the European Commission Framework Decision "...bans Holocaust denial and gross trivialisation when they are carried out in a manner likely to incite to violence or hatred against the mentioned group or a member of such a group". Her letter added that "public authorities must unequivocally condemn and actively fight such behaviour".

The Centre noted the irony that her letter "coincided with Rydzyk's visit to your H.Q., and your words exactly define his record and intent."

"This is an opportunity to translate those words into action by unequivocally condemning his visit and ensuring that such guests are denied your hospitalitty. The European Parliament must not become a podium for hate," concluded Samuels.

For further information contact Dr. Shimon Samuels on 0033(0)609770158, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter
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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400.000 members. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the OAS and the Latin American Parliament.