Belarus to seize a Polish community centre?

Belarusian authorities try to seize a Polish community centre in the western city of Iwieniec.

On the basis of an anonymous report suggesting financial irregularities, representatives of the Belarusian Interior Ministry and the Committee for State Control are searching a Polish community centre in Iwieniec.

The centre is one of three ventures belonging to the Union of Poles in Belarus, an organization representing Polish minority in Belarus, headed by Andzelika Borys. The Union remains unrecognized by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka.

"They are trying to find an excuse to seize the centre," says Andrzej Poczobut, journalist and Polish minority activist. Poczobut adds that Teresa Sobol, head of the centre, has been interrogated and intimidated several times recently. "[Belarusian authorities] try to force her and other Polish activists to abandon the Union in favour of another organization recognized by Lukashenka," says Poczobut.

There are two Polish organizations in Belarus which use the same name - the Union of Poles in Belarus. One of them is supported by Polish authorities and another by Belarus authorities.



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