The Polish Foreign Ministry has appealed to Minsk to free all political prisoners, including a Polish minority activist.
Polish-Belarusian democratic oppositionist spends 50th birthday in prison
Andrzej Poczobut, Belarusian journalist and activist of the Union of Poles in Belarus, who has been sentenced to eight years of imprisonment on…
“On today’s Political Prisoner’s Day, we once again call on the authorities in Minsk to release all detainees, including A. Poczobut, and to stop further repression,” the ministry tweeted on Sunday.
“Almost 1,500 people are political prisoners in Belarus,” it added.
Andrzej Poczobut, a journalist and an active member of the Union of Poles in Belarus (ZPB), a Polish minority organization that was delegalized by the Belarusian authorities, had been arrested in March 2021 on charges of “instigating hatred against religious and national groups, and rehabilitating Nazism.”
In February 2023, he was sentenced to eight years in prison, a ruling which he has appealed.
Almost 1,500 people are political prisoners in Belarus.
On today's Political Prisoner's Day, we once again call on the authorities in Minsk to release all detainees, including A. Poczobut, and to stop further repression.
— Ministry of Foreign Affairs 🇵🇱 (@PolandMFA) May 21, 2023
A few days ago, the Belarusian Viasna Human Rights Centre designated May 21 as a Day of Solidarity with Political Prisoners in Belarus, marking the death of political prisoner Vitold Ashurak, who died in a penal colony on this day two years before.
A day after Poczobut’s sentence was announced, Poland closed the vital Bobrowniki crossing with Belarus and followed up with further transport restrictions, saying they would be lifted if the journalist was released.