Poles in Belarus freed

Three activists of the Union of Poles in Belarus have been released after 5 days of arrest.

Those released are the organization's Supreme Board chairman Andrzej Poczobut, his deputy, Mieczyslaw Jaskiewicz, and press spokesman Igor Bancer. The three men were sentenced by a court in Grodno for organizing a demonstration in defense of the Polish House in Ivyanets which gathered some 300 ethnic Poles.

"We were treated in the standard manner during our detention," Igor Bancer told a Polish Radio reporter. The men claim their arrest had been illegal.

"Such practice is one of the elements of repression against the authorities and members of our organization," commented Angelika Borys, head of the Union of Poles in Belarus.

The recent actions of the Lukashenka regime directed against the organization have received strong contempt from Polish authorities. Warsaw said it would demand action on the part of the European Union, including possible sanctions for Belarusian officials in limiting their travel through Union countries.


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