Polish journalist charged with insulting Belarusian president

Belarusian prosecutors have pressed charges against Andrzej Poczobut, Gazeta Wyborcza’s correspondent in Grodno, Belarus.

The journalist could face up to two years in jail for writing recent articles which, according to Belarusian prosecutors, included “groundless fabrications” against President Alexander Lukashenko that damage his “honor and dignity.”

“An investigator … told me that I was suspected of committing crimes under Art. 368 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus, that is ‘insulting the President of the Republic of Belarus,’” Mr Poczobut wrote on his blog.

Mr Poczobut is also the president of the Supreme Council of the Union of Poles in Belarus (UBP), an organization which represents the 400,000-strong Polish minority there.

This is not the first time that Mr Poczbut has had problems with Belarusian authorities. He only recently completed a 15-day prison sentence on charges of “participation in the unsanctioned protest rally” that followed the December 19 presidential elections.


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