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August 12, 2021 10:25 am
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US ‘Deeply Concerned About Polish Restitution Law’: Blinken

avatar by i24 News

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at a news conference following meetings at the Danish Foreign Ministry, Eigtved’s Warehouse, in Copenhagen, Denmark, May 17, 2021. Photo: Saul Loeb/Pool via REUTERS

i24 NewsUnited States Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed his country’s “deep concern” over the Polish parliament’s passage of legislation Wednesday that would “severely restrict” Holocaust survivors and their descendants from obtaining restitution for property confiscated during Poland’s communist era, reported the Jerusalem Post.

Polish President Andrzej Duda now has 21 days to either sign the law into the statute books or veto it.

In July, the upper house of parliament, the Senate, moderated the original version of the law passed by the lower house, the Sejm, in June.

“We urge that President Duda not sign the bill into law or that, in line with the authority granted to him as president, he refer the bill to Poland’s constitutional tribunal,” Blinken said in a statement. He went on to say that a comprehensive law for resolving confiscated property claims is needed to provide some measure of justice for victims.

Blinken added that the passage of the legislation ran “counter to principles and values for which modern, democratic nations stand.” 

Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of US lawmakers wrote a letter to the Speaker of the Sejm, urging her to prevent the bill from advancing, maintaining that the almost total annihilation of Polish Jewry during the Second World War was an “issue of morality and closure.”

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