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Sunday May 26th, 2019 7:17AM

The Latest: Poland says Holocaust law designed to aid truth

By The Associated Press
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WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The Latest on the Polish Senate's vote to regulate Holocaust speech (all times local):

2:50 p.m.

Poland's Foreign Ministry says the new legislation to regulate Holocaust speech is intended to "fight all forms of denying and distorting the truth about the Holocaust as well as belittling the responsibility of its actual perpetrators."

In a statement, the ministry said the "main goal" of the legislation, that still needs the approval by the president, is to "protect historic truth" and expressed hope that it will not affect Poland's strategic partnership with the U.S.

The U.S. administration has asked Poland to rethink the proposed legislation saying it could "undermine free speech and academic discourse" and strain ties with the U.S. and Israel.

___

11:45 a.m.

Israel's Foreign Ministry says the country "opposes categorically" the vote in the Polish Senate in favor of regulating Holocaust speech.

In a statement, it said Israel views "with utmost gravity any attempt to challenge historical truth."

No law, it added, "will change the facts."

The bill, proposed by Poland's ruling party, could imprison individuals for up to three years for intentionally attempting to falsely attribute the crimes of Nazi Germany to the Polish nation as a whole. It was approved by the lower house last week.

___

8:05 a.m.

Poland's Senate has backed legislation regulating Holocaust speech that has sparked a diplomatic dispute with Israel and calls from the United States for a reconsideration of a bill seen as threatening freedom of speech.

The bill proposed by Poland's ruling conservative party calls for up to three years in prison for any intentional attempt to falsely attribute the crimes of Nazi Germany to the Polish state or people. It exempts artistic and research work.

Saying the bill defends Poland's good name, the senators voted early Thursday 57-23 to back the bill with two abstentions.

To become law, the bill requires approval from the president, who supports it.

Israel sees the move as an attempt to whitewash the role some Poles played in the killing of Jews during World War II.

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