American white nationalist Richard Spencer banned by 26 European countries
A leading figure in the US white nationalist movement said on Wednesday that he has not received government confirmation of his reported ban from entering more than two dozen European countries.
Poland’s state-run news agency PAP said Polish authorities banned Richard Spencer from entering 26 countries in Europe’s visa-free Schengen area for five years. The news agency cited unnamed sources close to Poland’s Foreign Ministry.
Spencer previously was banned from the Schengen zone for three years after his 2014 arrest in Hungary, where he had planned to host a conference.
Spencer said he would try to contest a new ban.
“I’m being treated like a criminal by the Polish government. It’s just insane,” he said. “I haven’t done anything. What are they accusing me of?”
Spencer popularised the term “alt-right” to describe a fringe movement that is a loose mix of racist, anti-Semitic and anti-immigration beliefs. In August, he was expected to speak at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a car rammed a crowd of counter-protesters, killing a woman.
Spencer said he cancelled plans to travel to Poland for a far-right conference in Warsaw earlier this month after seeing reports the government was threatening to keep him out of the country.
“It just didn’t feel like it was worth it,” he said.
Last month, Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski described Spencer as someone “who defames what happened during World War II, defames the Holocaust.”
“He should not appear publicly, and especially not in Poland,” Waszczykowski said.
Besides Poland, the 26 Schengen countries also include France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden among others.