On Saturday, Polish conservative writer and journalist Rafał Ziemkiewicz was detained by British services at Heathrow International Airport. Ziemkiewicz had landed in the UK while accompanying his daughter who was to start studies at Oxford University. Authorities permitted entry to Ziemkiewicz’s wife and daughter.
After a few hours of investigation, the publicist was detained without a stated reason. Ziemkiewicz was stripped of his medicine, documents and mobile phone. Later, the British Home Office issued a Notice of Refusal of Permission to Enter which declared that Ziemkiewicz had been refused permission to enter the UK due to his political views.
“I consider your exclusion from the United Kingdom is conductive to the public good. This is due to your conduct and views which are at odds with British values and likely to cause offence and therefore make it undesirable for you to be granted entry,” the document reads.
“The migration officer told me to voluntarily rebook my flight because due to my personal political views I will not be permitted entry to the UK. I, of course, responded that such a thing was out of the question. I also asked why did they mind my political views but did not receive an answer,” Ziemkiewicz recounted the situation.
The publicist was deported from the UK and forced to fly back to Poland on Saturday evening.
“I will be investigating this matter but not concerning the fact that I was not let in, but because someone has slandered me by spreading lies about me that I am, for example, a Holocaust denier,” he said. Ziemkiewicz explained that the issue most likely concerned a sentence from his book “Cham niezbuntowany” which was taken out of context.
“This is only one example out of many which are shared and spread across multi-lingual Jewish websites such as Jewish.pl,” he explained.
“This has all led to the situation in which I was rejected from the UK by some English person who doesn’t understand a word of Polish and I’ve been written into some secret list of fascists,” he stated.
Do Rzeczy weekly Editor-in-Chief Paweł Lisicki called the situation absurd and Orwellian in an interview for media portal Salon24.pl
“We are dealing with pure Orwell. Following this line of thought, each person which the government does not like may be considered ‘detrimental to public good.’ Another absurd thing in this case is the fact that Rafał Ziemkiewicz was travelling to London completely privately. No meetings, conferences or debates were scheduled by him,” Lisicki said.
He added that referring to “public good” in Ziemkiewicz’s case emphasized the Orwellian character of the problem.
“This shows that Great Britain is no longer Great Britain but increasingly more like Soviet Britain,” he declared.