Poland's President Signs Holocaust Speech Bill Into Law

The law will now be reviewed by the country's Constitutional Tribunal.
Posted at 6:20 PM, Feb 06, 2018

Polish President Andrzej Duda signed a controversial Holocaust speech bill into law Tuesday. He said in a statement the law would help preserve "historical truth." 

The law makes it illegal to say Poland was "complicit in the Holocaust" or to use terms like "Polish death camps." Those who break the law could face up to three years in prison.

Here's some historical context. During World War II, the German army invaded and occupied Poland; that's where some Nazi-operated concentration camps were, including Auschwitz.

Reuters reported the country's right-wing government wants to make sure its citizens "are recognized as victims, not perpetrators, of Nazi aggression during World War Two."

Countries like the United States and Israel say the law censors freedom of speech, and some activists argue it promotes anti-Semitism. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he was "disappointed" by the bill's passage.

The law will go into effect within two weeks. Duda said the country's Constitutional Tribunal would review the law to make sure it's in line with Poland's fundamental rights, which include freedom of speech.