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Poland slams Germany over visa for Ukraine rights activist

The Polish government attacked Germany Thursday over its decision to grant a visa to a Ukraine rights activist Warsaw had banned.

“Granting a short-stay visa to Lyudmyla Kozlovska was unjustified,” a foreign ministry statement said.

Lyudmyla Kozlovska & George SorosThe position had been made clear by a deputy foreign minister to the German ambassador in Warsaw, the statement added.

Polish press reports said Kozlovska took part in a parliamentary debate in Berlin on civil rights in Poland and Hungary, both of which have fallen foul of the European Commission for steps said to compromise democratic values and the rule of law.

Polish President Andrzej Duda denounced the holding of such a debate in a conversation with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier while both men were in Latvia on Thursday, the PAP news agency reported.

“The president stressed that such a move does not help the cause of good relations and confidence between our countries,” the head of Duda’s office, Krzysztof Szczerski, was quoted as saying by PAP.

“To stigmatise the Polish authorities, in the parliament of another country because it is fulfilling its electoral, democratically legitimate programme is not in keeping with European values,” Szczerski added.

Kozlovska says she has come under pressure from the Polish authorities because of the activities of her activist husband Bartosz Kramek who has repeatedly spoken out against the country’s conservative Law and Justice (PiS) government.

Kozlovska, president of the Warsaw-based human rights organisation Open Dialog, said last month that she had been stopped by Belgian border guards after Poland put her on a list of people to be deported from the Schengen zone — the 26 countries which are part of the European free movement area.

The guards told her that her name was on the highest alert level in the Schengen Information System (SIS), she said.

She was then put on a flight to Ukraine’s capital Kiev.

The Schengen Information System was set up to allow police forces in European Union member states to share data and protect internal security.


Article originally posted on Expatica

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