A Polish campaign group is suing an Argentinian newspaper it says breached a new law that makes it a criminal offense to suggest Poland was complicit in the Holocaust.

In what appeared to be the first legal action under the so-called Holocaust law, just hours after it took effect, the Polish League Against Defamation said it filed a complaint against Argentina's Pagina 12 daily.

A minister from Poland's conservative government applauded the move to invoke the law, which Warsaw says will protect it from slander, but which the United States and Israel said would suppress authentic historic research and free speech.