Lukashenko cracks down on Poles

Gazeta Wyborcza, 16 February 2010

"The hunt for the Union of Poles in Belarus (UPB) has peaked, and it's time for Poland to respond," writes Warsaw daily Gazeta Wyborcza, referring to the rapidly intensifying conflict between Minsk and Warsaw. Two days after a "manly talk" between both countries' foreign ministers, authorities in Belarus detained more than 40 members of the banned UPB. Earlier, police seized the Polish House, a cultural centre, in Ivyanets. "The UPB, the biggest non-political NGO in Belarus, is at the vanguard of the 'terrible disease' that is democracy for the Belarusian regime," the liberal daily insists, urging the Polish government to take harsh steps against Alexander Lukashenko's government. "Let's tell Lukashenko: Enough!" runs a Gazeta editorial, calling on the EU to threaten Belarus with sanctions if it does not stop persecution of the Polish minority. "Like all regimes, Belarus only understands brute force," the daily believes.


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