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Białystok holds rally in support of political prisoners in Belarus

Participants of the monthly action in Białystok, northeastern Poland, expressed their solidarity with the convicted activist of the Polish minority in Belarus, journalist Andrzej Poczobut and other political prisoners in Belarusian prisons.

Every month, Poles from Belarus currently living in Białystok, but also Belarusians, representatives of NGOs, and ordinary citizens gather for solidarity actions to remind the world about those persecuted by the Belarusian regime.

Andrzej Poczobut has been in custody for 23 months. Earlier in February, a court in Grodno sentenced him to eight years in a high-security prison in a political trial, accusing him of “inciting hatred” and “calling to act to the detriment of Belarus.”

Białystok. Po koncercie Lady Pank zdjęcie na pamięć. Polacy z Grodna, Lidy i Wołkowyska

— Andrzej Poczobut (@poczobut) September 22, 2018

Vice-president of the Union of Poles in Belarus, Marek Zaniewski, spoke on Monday evening at the monument of Blessed Fr. Jerzy Popiełuszko in Białystok, a site where once again people came together to show solidarity with Andrzej Poczobut.

“At the moment, an appeal is being prepared, we continue to fight, although we know that it is impossible in today’s Belarus to count on a fair court, all we can do is show solidarity and come together,” said Zaniewski.

He thanked the Białystok City Council for adopting a resolution condemning the verdict against Andrzej Poczobut. Zaniewski also expressed gratitude for any form of help that Poles from Belarus and Belarusians persecuted by the Lukashenka regime have received in Białystok.

Already on the day of the court’s verdict against Andrzej Poczobut, the Sejm (Polish parliament’s lower house) adopted by acclamation a resolution in which it condemned the verdict and indicated that it was the culmination of repressions against the Polish minority in Belarus, which had been ongoing since the beginning of 2021.

It was stressed in the resolution that the forms of repression, the persecution of members of the Union of Poles in Belarus, the liquidation of Polish schools and cultural organizations, as well as the desecration of Polish memorial sites are unacceptable acts of breaching international law.

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