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Holocaust denier may speak at Oxford Union

Oct. 12, 2007 at 7:49 PM

OXFORD, England, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- The head of the Oxford Union, Britain's best-known debating society, has invited a Holocaust denier and a British nationalist leader to speak.

Luke Tryl, the union's president, told The Guardian he has approached David Irving and Nick Griffin, chairman of the British National Party, about speaking at the society's Free Speech Day. Another controversial potential speaker is President Alexander Lukoshenko of Belarus, who would appear separately.

"The Oxford Union is famous for its commitment to free speech and although I do think these people have awful and abhorrent views I do think Oxford students are intelligent enough to challenge and ridicule them," Tryl said.

Irving -- who lost a libel suit in Britain against a U.S. writer who called him a Holocaust denier and pleaded guilty in Austria to trivializing and denying the Holocaust -- said his invitations to speak at Oxford in the past had been withdrawn after threats of violence.

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