MP Arkadiusz Mularczyk, Chairman of the Polish National Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), submitted a written declaration on Monday, concerning the persecution of Poles in Belarus and the conviction of Andrzej Poczobut in a show trial. The declaration was signed by other members of the Assembly.
In the declaration, Mularczyk recalled that the Belarusian authorities have been persecuting representatives of the Polish minority in Belarus for years, destroying Polish cultural heritage, and conducting numerous criminal cases against individuals and institutions associated with teaching the Polish language and promoting Polish culture.
The document also stresses that Belarusian propaganda duplicates the one coming from the Kremlin, in an effort to discredit and denigrate Poland in the eyes of Belarusians.
The last straw
According to the declaration, the show trial of journalist Andrzej Poczobut was the culmination of the Belarusian authorities’ repression against the Polish minority in Belarus.
A #court in Grodno has sentenced @poczobut, a journalist, and activist for the Polish minority in #Belarus🇧🇾, to eight years behind bars.https://t.co/SXvC7rIAFI
— TVP World (@TVPWorld_com) February 8, 2023
The Belarusian regime accused Poczobut of “inciting hatred” and “acting to the detriment of Belarus,” and sentenced him to eight years in a penal colony. Mularczyk stressed that since his arrest Andrzej Poczobut has not been able to see his relatives, and the only way he can contact his family is through letters.
In the declaration, Mularczyk appealed to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, the Committee of Ministers, and member states to act for the immediate and unconditional release of Andrzej Poczobut and other activists of the Union of Poles, and support all initiatives that contribute to the democratization of Belarus.