Andrzej Poczobut was arrested in March 2021 on charges of "instigating hatred against religious and national groups, and rehabilitating Nazism."
At 16.30 Warsaw time on Thursday, Poland’s charge d’affaires in Minsk was summoned to the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), a Polish foreign ministry spokesman announced.
Łukasz Jasina tweeted the news, which followed the Polish MFA summoning the Belarusian charge d’affaires on Wednesday after a court in the western Belarusian city of Grodno sentenced a Polish minority activist to eight years in prison.
Andrzej Poczobut was arrested in March 2021 on charges of “instigating hatred against religious and national groups, and rehabilitating Nazism.”
A long-time correspondent for Poland’s Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper, Poczobut was also active in the Union of Poles in Belarus (ZPB), a Polish minority organisation that has been delegalised by the Belarusian authorities.
The Polish MFA regularly protested against his arrest, which human rights organisations have recognised as being political, and on Wednesday Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki described his eight-year sentence as “inhuman.” It was also criticised by President Andrzej Duda.
A Polish deputy foreign minister said on Thursday Warsaw would call for those responsible for Poczobut’s conviction to be placed on an EU sanctions list.