BELARUS NEWS AND ANALYSIS

DATE:

08/04/2011

Belarusian courts rule Polish Card against international law

The Constitutional Court of Belarus has ruled that the so-called Polish Card does not conform to international conventions on equality of states.

The ruling was announced by the independent Belarusian news agency, BelaPAN, Thursday afternoon following the courtís decision.

The Polish Card (Karta Polaka) was launched in 2007 by Polandís Foreign Ministry. The card was to be issued to people of Polish descent but who may not hold dual citizenship due to restrictions in their country of residency.

Holders of the card may work and set up businesses in Poland, as well as obtain a Polish visa free of charge.

According to unofficial sources, over a dozen thousand citizens of Belarus have so far successfully obtained a Polish Card, although Belarusian parliamentarians believe that the document goes against international treaties.

The legality of the card, which has been cited in state Belarusian media as being ďa joker in international gamesĒ, was looked at by the courts in Minsk, as well being handed over to the Constitutional Court last week.

In an effort to hamper Belarusian citizens from obtaining the Polish Card, Bielorusky Partizan, an opposition website informed four days ago that the Belarusian Central Archives had been given the order to stop producing documents showing family ties and lineage.

Belarusian authorities have denied the move, as documents provided by a number of other institutions may help in obtaining a Polish Card, such as church records.

Source:

http://www.thenews.pl/international/artykul152918_belarusian-courts-rule-polish-card-against-international-law.html


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